· By Mattias Forsgren

Art-Pop artist Bonander is back with a powerful and intimate EP, unpicking traumas connected to body and self-image

Enigmatic and alluring, Bonander released her visionary debut album, 'Things We Don’t Talk About' through Icons Creating Evil Art on 20th August 2021. The full-length was praised by media giants such as Rolling Stone, It's All indie, High Snobiety and GAFFA. Now she is back with a new EP called "the thread", unpicking traumas revolving body and self-image. Leaning heavily on its acoustic element, the exquisite arrestments gives the EP's theme an even more naked and exposed edge.
Bonander is the shorthand for Ellinor Sterner Bonander. Sporting the role of musician, arranger and producer, the native Swede is a woman unchained. Boldly charging head first into her own fears in regards to the projects subsect, Bonander got to examine her own body image in a detailed and unforgiving way. It all began at a music residency where the artist spent a lot of time by herself a couple of years ago. She says: "'the thread' has been something of a therapeutic journey for me. I tried to challenge myself by writing on the topic of the body, precisely because it was initially experienced as something difficult and scary. I understood quite quickly that there were things to face and sort out there. I got the desire to, via music, lyric and image, put the spotlight on the self contempt for our bodies I and many others have, with the hope that it might lead to something else entirely."
But the EP doesn't focus solemnly on the negative thoughts we tend to have about the body. New single 'the void' is one of the songs that approach the subject more kindly, although still very intimate. Bonander tells us: "One of the more naked and warm thoughts about the body I encountered during this trip is the song the void, which deals with the desire of the body. To be attracted to someone, to long, to listen to the will of the body, disconnected from the rational, from norm and from prejudice. I think this feeling is easily suffocated under a lot of silly notions, and body anxiety is one of them for me. The void is my way of breaking free and admitting what I long for. The title reflects the endless sea of ​​desire and longing my body and the bodies of others carry with it. It looks different for everyone - but it's there."
Known for her cinematic soundscapes filled of dense bass lines, playful synth melodies and orchestral elements, Bonander sought to scale down the bombastic arrangements and let the music be more bare and intimate then her earlier work. “musically I wanted to go in a different direction. The challenge was to be as stripped down in the production as I dared, in the same way as the vulnerability in the lyrics I wrote.” she tell us. To further capture the essence and emotion of the music, she decided to record the EP live and contacted the pianist, organizer and colleague Sara Hermansson. “The recordings are live takes where we play together without a metronome. I am incredibly grateful for Sara's artistry that’s contributed greatly to this work. She even lent me a piano piece she’s written as the outro of this Ep. As the icing on the cake, I also got to record the fantastic violinist Elias Sjöwall. Together, I hope we convey something fragile, naked and a little beautifully broken to the listener.”
“the thread” encourages the listener to join in discourse of uncomfortable topics and challenge the harmful social strukturs that is still very much in place. “We live in such an incredibly exposed society when it comes to appearance.” says Bonander. “As children, we are told that it is the inside that counts, but in every room you are in, it is disproved time and time again. In the workplace, at home, in love life, in the media. Appearance is capital and it's not until we acknowledge it that we can work towards it”.
‘the void’ is the second single from upcoming EP 'the thread', released everywhere on November 17th, 2023 via Icons Creating Evil Art.


Beatrice Lindhom
Icons Creating Evil Art
Råsundavägen 73, Solna