· 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 arrangements 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 subject, Bonander got to examine her own body image in a undiluted and unforgiving detail with this new EP. It all began at a music residency a couple of years ago, where the artist spent a lot of time by herself and started out on a therapeutic journey where she challenged herself to write on the topic of the body. Precisely because it was initially experienced as something difficult and scary.
While the EP doesn't shy away from dark intrusive thoughts connected to the subject, it's not its sole focus. New single "therefore i am” is one of the songs that approach the theme "body" more kindly, talking about how it deserve tenderness, respect and love. No matter what the media may tell us. Bonander says: "In creating this EP, I faced my demons. Partly in the writing but also in the artwork and the visual concept of the EP. Together with my genius photographer and wonderful friend, Siri Wallentén, I explored how to shape the body into art in a non-normative way. Into something beyond the objectifying eye. As I sat there, picking which of the many pictures of my belly fat to post to Instagram, I noticed how I slowly began to see my body as... a body. Neither ugly nor pretty. A house. A vessel that gave me arms, legs, feelings - as ordinary as it gets. A new way of looking at my house.”
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 pianist, organizer and colleague Sara Hermansson. The recordings are live takes where the two musicians 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 structure 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”.
"therefore i am" is the third single from upcoming EP "the thread", released everywhere on January 12th, 2024 via Icons Creating Evil Art.

Beatrice Lindhom
Icons Creating Evil Art
Råsundavägen 73, Solna