(Make Me a) TRISTE© Mixtape Episode 72: Minru

Minru (Photo by Lottie Turner)

Minru is the musical project of Swedish-born and Berlin-based songwriter and guitarist Caroline Blomqvist.
After attending music high school in Gothenburg and playing in bands during her teens, Blomqvist later moved to Germany. As well as enjoying walks at Tempelhofer Feld and coffee at Leuchtstoff café, she performed with Tuvaband, Adna, and Tara Nome Doyle and played in Berlin venues Loophole and Schokoladen. With the passing of time she felt a growing urge to find an outlet for her own songs; Minru was the answer.
Before signing for the prestigious Berlin label Morr Music, she had her debut EP, Yearnings out on Pacaya Records in 2019.
Her debut album Liminality will be out 1st of July on Morr Music.
Finished and self-produced at a Berlin-Lichtenberg recording studio alongside musical friends (Povel Widestrand, Tobias Blessing, Sunniva Lilian Shaw Of-Tordarroch, Marlene Becher and Liv Solveig Wagner), Liminality is beautifully detailed and rich like the folk of her Swedish roots. The album, built around winding layers of acoustic guitar, piano, and strings, is a surprisingly uplifting and stirring testament to Blomqvist’s own suffering from the passing of someone close to her.

Loss is one of the universalities of the human experience, and how we deal with it, live with it, and find a way to make our peace with it is one of the things that defines our lives. It’s a heavy weight to bear, and the process of bearing that weight is tackled with tenderness and grace on Minru’s new single Secrets And Sins
Secrets And Sins has a warm heart: piano and guitar lines flow smoothly together, and they provide the driving force for a piece of beautiful indie rock that shimmers and sparkles. That musical backdrop compliments Minru’s lyrics, as she explores the enormous questions that loss opens up, by bringing a sense of lightness and air to the song that helps it breathe. It makes for a song that’s deeply moving without being overly dark, one that skillfully and sensitively explores the emotions that land on your shoulders when a loved one passes away. Minru says: “Secrets And Sins is a song about a heavy topic. It deals with that feeling of ‘loss of control’ when you lose someone. When making this song, I think I needed in some way to balance the ‘heaviness’ behind it with a warmer, catchier arrangement. So in the end it turned out, at least musically, as perhaps the brightest song on the album”. 

In music, sometimes the softest touch can have the greatest impact. Light End is a gentle piece of indie folk, but within that gentleness there’s a strength that wakes the empathy in the listener, and that gives it an emotional power that’s impossible to deny. Light End is one of those songs blessed with depth, both musically and lyrically, its every detail is drawn from a deep well of meaning and thought. Here, from guitar and strings Minru weaves together a song that seems to bend space and time to its own spirit, to carve out an aura of peace and contemplativeness. She adds instrumentation like dropping stones into water, with each one adding a new ripple, all combining and building into a soft, beautiful song that shimmers with a pale, dreamy glow. Minru says: “I wrote Light End in a cabin in the Swedish mountains on a nylon-stringed guitar. It was one of those songs that basically wrote itself. One night I was jamming a bit and the song just came to me. I finished it in maybe three days, which is rare since it usually takes me weeks or even months to finish a song. The song is sort of a conversation with yourself, but also a conversation with someone who is no longer with you.

What She Says: “I read that Carl Jung used the word “Liminality” to describe the psychological process of transitioning. I instantly felt seen; it reflected my own experience and the feelings I carried whilst making the album – a sense of the old certainties being gone, but the new not being quite there yet. In February this year I locked myself inside my apartment to finish writing an album which I started in 2019. It’s a collection of songs which turned out to be the most personal music I’ve ever written. In early march when the world shut down, we drove up to the mountains in Sweden, where we stayed in a little timber cottage in complete isolation. There I finished the last songs on the album. During this weird and uncertain year, to work on the album -writing, recording and producing it- was in much sense what kept me going. Music shared a therapeutic purpose as much as a creative one. Today I finally let go of it and gave it away for mixing, which feels quite unbelievable, a little bit scary but most of all like a huge relief

Her Mixtape:

Angel Olsen – Windows

A song I adore which is so serene and powerful at the same time. Her voice and the lyrics are crushingly melancholic and beautiful and it gives me goosebumps every time I hear it. The rest of the album Burn Your Fire For No Witness is great too and I come back to it often for inspiration.

Skullcrusher – Day of Show

Skullcrusher is probably the artist I’ve listened to the most in the last year. I really like this song and especially how the vocals are mixed. Her sound feels refreshing yet familiar and I hope she will release more music soon.

Josefin Runsteen – BANYAN – Scene V (Air)

This piece of music is like a journey through soundscapes made by Josefin Runsteen, a Swedish musician I admire a lot. It has a very hypnotic and sedative effect and I sometimes listen to it in bed before going to sleep to ease anxiety and calm down.

 Tara Nome Doyle- Vær Min

Every time I hear my friend Tara Nome Doyle sing this song live I cry a bit. It instantly brings me home to vast Scandinavian landscapes and it sounds like a traditional folk song which could have been written 200 years ago rather than in 2022. Which is really an achievement in my opinion!

Gia Margaret – Birthday

A song I’ve listened to pretty much every day for the past months. It’s super catchy! Gia Margaret mixes indie and folk with ambient which I find really interesting. It’s a combination I would like to experiment more with in my future music.

 Ruby Haunt – Curtain Call

I love this song so much that I almost feel bad about sharing it, but at the same time I think this band deserves so much more recognition. There’s something about it that immediately evokes a strong sense of nostalgia in me. It’s also the perfect song for driving, especially through foggy, empty highways at dusk. 

Liminality will be out on July 1st on Morr Music. Look HERE for more information on Minru.

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