Helena Hallberg’s New Single Blends Swedish and American Folk
Nashville-based, Swedish/Swiss singer-songwriter, Helena Hallberg, has released “From The Outside,” the first single and video from her forthcoming debut album, EPITHET, due out in March 2024. Chorus.fm says “From The Outside” “showcases this talented artist’s growth as a songwriter. While Hallberg takes inspiration from Joni Mitchell and ABBA, she displays a folk prowess to her music that exudes confidence and has a contemporary feel to it much like Maggie Rogers is doing…The video captures the heart of the song, and marks Hallberg as a key artist to watch as this year unfolds.”
“From the Outside” combines Hallberg’s Swedish background with her love for American folk music, baking it into a deeply personal story about what it means to leave home, take a chance and stand up for your own future. A live version of the song grabbed the attention of TikTokers in 2022, where it garnered over 70K views and was described as “if Joni Mitchell was a Disney princess.”
“The song came to me as a sort of anthem to my own journey,” Hallberg told Chorus.fm. “Moving to the US and taking a chance on building something better, while also acknowledging that journeys often don’t have happy ends– and that’s ok. Because while your life may not play out exactly the way you had envisioned, you can always be proud of taking that step out, you’ll be a better person for it.”
Recorded in the forest around Mullsjö, Sweden, the video is set in the very place that inspired the song. The forest represents home and comfort, while the song explores themes of leaving in pursuit of something bigger, something better. Conceptualized by Hallberg and Gothenburg-based videographer Emma Franzén, the video is meant to show the beauty of Scandinavian nature, combining it with the Appalachian Dulcimer and giving a sense of peace, while also inserting a good dose of Hygge.
EPITHET features elements of female empowerment, multiculturalism and self-discovery, while also tackling tougher subjects like Christian nationalism and disordered eating. It is as much a middle-finger to the patriarchy as it is a welcoming place to land; a reminder that you deserve happiness and acceptance. Recorded at the iconic Power Station at BerkleeNYC in New York City and produced by an all-female production team comprising Hallberg, Mary Bragg, and Gloria Kaba, EPITHET promises to be a musical journey like no other. It’s a transformative adventure through the captivating landscapes of her music and storytelling. Drawing inspiration from iconic artists like ABBA and Joni Mitchell, Hallberg connects the nostalgic sounds of the 70s with the contemporary production elements of today.
Originally trained as a jazz vocalist, Hallberg’s musical path took a fascinating turn when she fell in love with American folk music and the traditional instruments that accompany it. With her beloved Appalachian dulcimer, Henrietta, in hand, Hallberg brings this age-old instrument into the 21st century, spinning enchanting melodies into the fabric of her songs. “I know some people have millions of streams on Spotify, but I’ve convinced at least seven people to buy a dulcimer, so that’s pretty good in my book,” she says with a laugh.
EPITHET is more than just an album; it’s a reflection of the human experience, a narrative of the obstacles we all encounter on our path to something better. Each track offers a fresh perspective on the adventure of life, with its stumbles, failures, lessons, growth, and unwavering perseverance.
Aesthetics of Sorrow
The Day I Found the Moon
From the Outside
Heaven and Hell
Your Side of the Pillow