A majority of new visitors to our site usually arrive with a pre-conceived idea of what they’ll discover. However, throughout Scandinavia the chords, the melody and the essence of soul has been translated and evolved via a new generation of artists and bands. One such band is Furns. When I first heard the Danish duo I was immediately taken by their unmistakable smooth, soulful vocals with a dreamy and melancholic sound.
With their second album due to be released this week I spoke to Furns, Monika Faludi and Mathias Dahl Andreasen, to discover more about them and their music.
SSOUL.COM: What was your inspiration? Was there a main influence music wise?
FURNS: We started off sampling, because we couldn’t afford our own instruments at the time. 70’s and 80’s records are perfect for sampling, because they usually contain a beat-less intro with some lush chords, or a smooth breakdown at the middle of the songs. ‘Haunt Me‘ is based on a sample from an 80’s record, and that’s also the reason why we haven’t been able to release it properly.
After ‘Haunt Me’ we decided to save up money, and buy our own instruments so we wouldn’t run into these kind of issues you get by sampling… with clearance and so on. Nowadays we write, compose and record everything ourselves.
How did you guys meet? You’re both from Copenhagen right?
We met each other five years ago through mutual friends, and ended up coincidentally living in the same dorm, only a few doors apart. We realised that we shared the exact same taste in music, and then we fell in love!
The area we live in is called ‘Det Grønne Område’, which translates to ‘The Green Area’. This area is located in ‘Storkøbenhavn’, which basically means ‘Big Copenhagen’. It’s like the suburbs to Copenhagen. We think it’s easier for people all around the world to relate when we say we live in Copenhagen. Technically speaking we live 15 minutes from Copenhagen!
Did you both decide a musical direction?
We never really decided which way Furns would go musically. We try not to overthink things, and sort of just feel the music, and let it flow. We agree on the musical direction 99.9 % of the time.
Do you write the songs together?
Mathias will sometimes have a beat, or a groove prepared, or Monika has put together some chords and melodies, and we just take it from there. It depends. Other times we turn on all the instruments in the studio, and jam for hours, until we find the right groove or feeling, and keep on adding to that. The vocals are mostly the last thing we add, but there are exceptions.
On the tracks ‘Once Again‘ and ‘Fortress’, Monika had written the lyrics and the melodies, and then we worked around that. On ‘Forever Yours’ Mathias had arranged the chords, the bass and all of the percussion, and then Monika provided the vocals afterwards. We don’t have to work that hard. It comes natural to us!
Which band would you say you are most like?
It’s really hard to say. We have been compared to Quadron, which is not too bad at all! Monikas voice gets compared to Sades a lot, which is a great honor. We’ve been compared to Everything But The Girl as well. We think we sound like ‘Furns’ though!
The music is very chilled and laid back. Is it like that in the studio?
It’s VERY chilled in the studio. We try to keep a cosy vibe in there. Palm trees, heavy curtains and spinning vinyl are great ways to achieve a chilled and laid back vibe. The cover image for the new album is in fact a live photo from the studio.
Where did the Name ‘FURNS’ come from, and what does it mean?
Mathias came up with it after battling for several months trying to find a proper name. We thought it was catchy, and it sounded good. It’s a mix of the words ferns, fur and furniture, we guess.
Three things we like: The colour green, something warm and something comfy. It’s also a surname in the US apparently.
We really enjoyed your debut album Furns, and your new single Your Love. What can we expect from the new album – Only Through Your Eyes.
‘Only Through Your Eyes’ varies a lot in terms of tempo and sound. It took us a year to record the album, so the songs represents different periods for us during last year. We didn’t have a vision for the entire vibe of the album, compared to our debut album which has a clear direction.
We just wanted to make 12 individual songs. The album is supposed to be a sort of a journey, and transport the listeners to very different corners of our sound. The sound of the album goes from full-blown house beats, to slow jams, to raw one-takes. Despite this, the album still contains the unmistakable ‘Furns-sound’, without a doubt!
The overall ‘sound’ also differs from our debut album, as we have chosen to move away from digital mastering, and choose analogue mastering and Studer-tape instead.
’Only Through Your Eyes’ is mastered/remastered by Marcus Henriksson AKA. Minilogue in Studio Cosmos, Sweden. Analogue mastering allows the sound to maintain more of its natural dynamics and warmth. A sound that fits really well with Furns, we think. The whole experience was great, and Marcus did an amazing job.
What does the album title /song mean?
‘Only Through Your Eyes’ is a line from ‘Forever Yours‘. This song had a lot to do with the direction of Furns, because we were able to incorporate a more danceable vibe to the Furns-sound. As we stated earlier we try not to overthink our musical direction, but let the music direct us instead.
What would like people to take from your music?
We compose the songs that we enjoy, and we basically make music for our own sake, and because we can’t help it. We never try to satisfy anyone but ourselves. If people like what we do, it’s just even greater! If people don’t like it, at least we still do.
Furns has a strong logo and design. How important is image to your band?
The logo was intended to be the ‘face’ of Furns, and it works perfectly as we are quite private folks. Maybe that’s why we rarely upload photos of ourselves. The logo is associated with Furns now, and people recognise it.
The music comes first, and appearance comes second to us.
Who creates the graphics?
Mathias does the graphics.
What’s been the best (most exciting) thing thats happened to ‘Furns’ so far?
When we started out making music, we were absolutely clueless about how to produce music. We just knew we wanted to [make music] somehow. So being able to release (almost) two albums on our own, is probably the greatest thing that has happened to Furns so far.
Who would you date a musician? If so who?
We are both dating musicians, since we are dating each other (and getting married this summer).
Hahaha! No way! That’s what you meant ‘fell in love’. What’s next for Furns?
We’re rehearsing at the moment, so we will be able to perform live during summer. So that’s what’s next! Hopefully a lot of new music in the years to come as well (we will never stop making new tracks!)
We haven’t seen you guys here in Sweden yet? Do you guys perform much?
We’re just getting started! Our focus has been on finishing the album, but now we aim to get out and perform more.
So far we have two live-gigs beginning in May 27th in Jutland, Thy, and June 18th as a supporting band in Copenhagen, RUST. Hopefully we’ll get to visit Sweden real soon!
Where else would you like to tour and why?
We don’t prefer to tour anywhere yet, since we’ve never tried touring before. We’ve been getting some interesting offers though from the US and Canada, but also from France and the Netherlands.
Ask us again when we have been on an actual tour, and we’ll tell you where we prefer!
Furns’ new album – Only Through Your Eyes, is out Friday 29th April.