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Hanne Lelend is a little wiser and a little more scared than the last time Eat This Music covered the Norwegian pop artist. “It’s been quite a year,” she states at the top of our chat about new EP. “I’ve learned to let go of the need to control everything (Covid taught me that I can’t), and I’ve learned how to create more freely.” In fact, Hanne has been digging really deep this year, writing raw, real music that comes from the soul.

“I’m doing all right,” she assures Eat This Music. In saying that, Hanne has actually been keeping herself busy recording and writing songs, which has helped her a lot. “I’ve also experienced severe anxiety this year,” she reveals, “like a lot of us have.” Some days Hanne feels optimistic, and some days not so much. But overall, Hanne is good, and very thankful to be safe and healthy.

The songs on Hanne’s EP are little, short stories from her life. ““Water” is a song I wrote when I was feeling fierce and unstoppable,” she reveals, “the title track “After Rain” is a romantic ballad I wrote as an ode to love,” and ““You’re Not Here” is about missing someone.” Also on the EP are “Scared”, which is a song about struggling with feelings of hopelessness and anxiety – as briefly touched on above.

“I wasn’t quite sure what kind of songs I wanted to write at the beginning of the process,” Hanne reveals about the creative process of the EP. Essentially the songs took shape as Hanne wrote them, so she would say the process all happened quite naturally. “I feel like I got to say everything I wanted to say,” she continues in our chat. In fact, Hanne reveals that she wrote the EP alone in her home studio. “It was a really special experience creating something alone,” she states, “with no one else around, and also a little frustrating having no one to turn to when I was stuck [laughs].” But with that said, Hanne is glad she did create the EP, and she assures listeners that she is really happy with how the songs turned out in the end.

“I usually write songs about my own life and experiences, so all of the songs on the EP are stories from my own life.” — Hanne Leland on the creation of her EP.

“‘Scared’ is my favourite at the moment,” Hanne reveals about which song listeners should particularly listen to. “A lot of us have been dealing with anxiety this year, and I wrote that song about my own battle with anxiety.” Hanne hopes the song can be of comfort for people in these trying times.

Shortly after lockdown, Hanne decided she wanted to create a project on her own, without any co-writers. “I wanted to challenge myself,” Hanne additionally reveals on why she wanted to create the EP. “[I] really [wanted to] dig deep and see what I could come up with.” At that time, Hanne knew she wanted to release the EP as soon as it was finished. “I started the process in March and finished up in June,” she continues. “I’ve released two singles from the EP thus far, and I’m so excited to share the full project!”

“Since there will be no live music and travelling in the near future,” Hanne will be spending her time working on more music: “I’ll be spending all my time in the studio,” she continues, “cooking up new stuff.” Hanne has a crazy busy release schedule for 2021, which is super exciting.

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