Merging dreamy soundscapes and ethereal vocals with deep hip hop beats, Swedish duo Iberia are one of the most intriguing electronic acts to come out of the Scandinavian pop scene. With their self-titled debut album out today, we caught up with Alexander Palmestål and Maja Milner to learn more.
Ever since Alexander Palmestål and Maja Milner met in Berlin about two years ago, they’ve treated us to piece after piece of hypnotic dream pop, merging atmospheric soundscapes and ethereal vocals with deep hip hop beats. In 2012, the duo made their debut with double-single An Ending / A Finale, followed by Everyday and Glide. With their self-titled debut album out on Swedish label Hybris today, we caught up with the duo to talk about their sound, Berlin, and their collaboration with Rasmus Emanuel Svensson.
How did Iberia come about?
Maja: In berlin around two years ago. I liked Alex and he liked me and we liked making music together.
Alexander: More or less.
Where does the name come from?
M: There is no deep meaning behind the name, it sounded cool.
A: The internet.
How did you find your sound? Was it something you needed to look for?
M: The sound came during the process of making the songs, we never looked for anything, just tried to make songs that we liked. After a while we realized that we actually had a sound.
A: I’m not really musically gifted so what ever I do will come out sounding the way it does.
What has Berlin as a city meant to you as musicians?
A: Not a whole lot.
M: Berlin has meant everything for me when it comes to music. This is the city where I discovered techno and techno is the most powerful music I have ever heard. When it comes to Iberia, I think we could have done it anywhere in the world, but the city has definitely given me the opportunity to hear a lot of new sounds and get inspired from it.
I don’t want to say anything special,
I just want to produce powerful songs
Could you tell us a little bout your creative process? How does a new song usually come about?
M: We try different ways and play around until we get something that we know we want, and then we work from that sound.
A: I just listen to the same beat until I hear melodies.
Where do you find inspiration and influences?
M: I don’t know because I’ve never looked for inspiration or influences, I’ve always known what I want to do. I suppose everyone gets inspired by music, love and life but that sounds a bit… yeah.
A: That pretty much sums it up.
What is it that you want to say with your songs? Do you aim to make a statement or bring certain thoughts or feelings to the listener?
M: I don’t want to say anything special, I just want to produce powerful songs.
A: I just want people to dance and feel happy. I never had any other ambitions really.
What can you tell us about your upcoming debut album? Inspiration, influences, themes?
M: Have a listen and judge for yourself! I don’t like to tell people how to think of things, because then I plant a little idea in their heads. It’s up to you guys to like the record or not.
A: It’s not really that kind of an album.
M: At first I didn’t really care that much about music videos, only about the music. Now after seeing Rasmus videos I’ve realized that he has embraced the songs with help of the video. And I absolutely love it!
A: I think the Rasmus Emanuel Svensson aspect is very important to our music.
What happens in the nearest future?
A: I’m moving back to Berlin and we are going to work on the next album.
M: Hopefully we will get gigs and play!
Iberia’s self-titled debut album is out today, March 24, via Hybris.
Video above by Rasmus Emanuel Svensson.