Louien's "Heart and Mind Alike" Honors the Memory of Those Who've Passed (premiere)

Photo: Julia Marie Naglestad / Courtesy of Baby Robot Media

Folk artist Louien's "Heart and Mind Alike" is an ode to those who have passed and every complex facet that comes with mourning and remembering them.

After uploading the aptly-titled "Demo no. 1" to SoundCloud around a year ago, Live Miranda Solberg found herself something of a viral sensation. The Norwegian folk artist was invited to play Øya and by:Larm festivals without an official solo release to her name. Given her work with Americana outfit Silver Lining, this isn't her first time in the spotlight, but it is with the wispier elegance of her new solo effort, Louien. Now, she is preparing for the release of her solo debut, Louien's None of My Words, on 20 September via Jansen.

Every song on None of My Words is approached from an angle that candidly handles grief, inspired by the passing of her father four years prior. With a sense of longing, Louien recalls the memory of her loved ones throughout "Heart and Mind Alike", an ode to those who have passed and every complex facet that comes with mourning and remembering them. At the track's center is her melancholy lilt, traversing the subtle ambiance of its arrangement with eloquence and sincerity.

Regarding "Heart and Mind Alike", Louien recalls, "This song basically wrote itself right before I played my first show as a solo artist. I was one song short of having a full set, so I sat down with my guitar, and the song was done within a few hours. I had a lot to get off my chest at that time and was in some writer's flow. It describes the desire to keep someone close after they've passed away; to honor their memory; essentially to keep their legacy alive and not forget about them. It's about how easy it is to forget that this person is gone, how hard it is for the human brain to accept, and how grief and shock can knock you over even years after their passing as if it's happening all over again. And I realized that for me, it would be easier to cope if I kept this person with me in my heart, mind, and actions. In a way, it's a hopeful song, at least to me."

"'Heart and Mind Alike' has been released once before, on my band Silver Lining's first album. I knew I wanted to use the song for my solo project, but I thought it would be fun to try it with my band as well. A song comes to life in a different way every time a new musician plays it, adding their unique colors to it. The first version has a strong Americana vibe to it, which I love. Stine Andreassen has a way of singing harmonies that will melt your heart, and Bjørnar Ekse Brandseth plays a very emotional and beautiful dobro."

"We decided to keep the production of this second version of the song to a bare minimum, to almost exaggerate the vulnerability of it with transparency and a kind of softness. So there's vocals, floating harmonies and a quiet piano, and some ambient noises. That's it. The feeling of loss and grief is actually quite pure once you remove all the add-ons of anger, regret, and shock, and I think that is what we wanted to convey with the arrangement of the song. The people singing on this track – Signe Marie Rustad, Einar Kaupang and Kristine Marie Aasvang – are some of my favorite voices (both vocally and lyrically; they are all songwriters) and I feel so fortunate to have them contribute to my work."

None of My Words is available to pre-order via Bandcamp.

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