· By Mattias Forsgren

Bonander displays vulnerability and intimacy on her journey through mind and body in new EP 'the thread'

Bonander is the shorthand for Ellinor Sterner Bonander. Sporting the role of musician, arranger and producer, the native Swede is a woman unchained. The new EP is a testament to her strong and fearless songwriting, as she confronts her own insecurities with bold and unveiled intimacy. It all started at a music residency a few years ago, where Bonander embarked on a therapeutic exploration of the theme "body", even though it initially appeared an intimidating subject. Bonander explains, "'the thread' has been something of a therapeutic journey for me. I tried to challenge myself by writing about the topic of the body, precisely because it initially felt difficult and scary. I quickly realized that there were issues to confront and unravel there. The desire to shine a spotlight on the self-loathing towards our bodies that I and many others feel through music, text, and imagery was awakened, with the hope that it may eventually lead to something completely different."
While the EP does not shy away from addressing the darker and intrusive thoughts related to the body, it is not its sole focus. Some of the songs approach the theme with tenderness, emphasizing the body's deserving of respect and love, regardless of societies pressures and expectations. Even addressing the inheritance of, and recognizing, family traits. "My body is a legacy that I carry. I literally carry my grandmother; I can see my face in hers. Is it really right to be ashamed of what I see then?", she tells us, and goes on to say: "In creating this EP, I confronted my inner demons - in the lyrics, in the artwork, and the visual concept. Collaborating with the brilliant photographer and dear friend Siri Wallentén, we aimed to transform the body into art in a non-normative manner, transcending objectification. As I chose among the many images of my own body to share on Instagram, I began to perceive my body as just that – a body. Neither ugly nor beautiful, but a vessel that gifted me with limbs, emotions, and the ordinary essence of being. A newfound perspective on my own 'house.'"
Known for her cinematic soundscapes filled with dense bass lines, playful synth melodies, and orchestral elements, Bonander intentionally scaled down the bombastic arrangements in this EP, allowing the music to be more stripped-down and intimate compared to her previous work. To further capture the essence and raw emotion of the music, she enlisted the help of pianist, organizer, and collaborator Sara Hermansson. Together they recorded the EP through live takes, playing together without metronomes. Bonander tells us: "I'm immensely grateful for Sara's artistry, which has greatly enriched this project. She even contributed a piano piece as the EP's outro. As a the final touch, I also had the pleasure to record the fantastic violinist Elias Sjöwall. Together, we hope to convey something fragile, exposed, and beautifully imperfect to the listeners."
With "the thread," Bonander invites her audience to engage in a discussions on uncomfortable topics, and challenge the harmful societal structures that is a factor our lives. She says, "We live in an incredibly image-conscious society. As children, we are taught that our inner qualities are what matters most, but the contradiction is evident in every aspect of our lives - at work, at home, in love, and in the media. Appearance is a form of currency, and only by acknowledging this can we begin to tear it down"
Prepare to be moved by Bonander's latest offering, "the thread," set to release everywhere on February 5th, 2024, via Icons Creating Evil Art.


Beatrice Lindhom
Icons Creating Evil Art
Råsundavägen 73, Solna