Hanne Leland has released her debut album The Art of Growing Up. The 9-track album is the long-awaited debut album from the Norwegian artist, who has released a long string of strong pop tracks in the recent years. She has always been a staple of our She Makes POP Music playlist.
Even though the album explores a wide variety of emotions, the theme of the album is growing up and gaining a more nuanced view on life and all the ups and downs that comes with it.
Hanne notes: “These songs are my stories and experiences, and I’m so thrilled to share this album with the world. I’ve worked on the album for about two years and put my heart and soul into it. I’ve written some of the songs alone, but I have also been fortunate enough to collaborate with some of my favourite songwriters and producers such as Jim Eliot, whom I’ve worked with for a long time”.
We asked Hanne to do an in depth track by track breakdown of The Art of Growing Up for us. Read it below.
The Art of Growing Up
Ah, the title track! This was one of the first songs I wrote for the album, and it set the tone for the entire project. These past few years I’ve noticed a changed in myself. I’m feeling more comfortable in own skin and I’m finally starting to feel like I’m on my own team. I thought it would be a great concept for my album, as a lot of the songs on the album are about maturing, growing and learning to navigate life. This song is so fun, and has an epic hook.
It’s Always Been You
This is the last song I wrote for the album. I was in a rush, and had like two days to write it and record the vocals for it. I wrote the song about my boyfriend and how I feel like I have known him before, in another life. It’s probably the most romantic song on the album and right now, it’s my favourite track. It feels like a warm hug. I wrote this one alone and it’s recorded in my home studio.
In ‘Emotions’ I’m channeling my inner Robyn. It’s a song that came about when I was in the UK working in a studio there. It’s basically a song about being heartbroken in the club, seeing your former lover with someone else. An emotional, yet dancy synth-pop track.
Even If It Breaks My Heart
This song was inspired by a movie that I watched. I can’t remember the name of it, but it made an impact. I wrote this song about loving someone deeply, but having to let them go due to them having problems with their mental health. My favourite part of the song is the gospel-like choir at the end.
It’s Your Eyes I See
Without doubt the saddest song the album. It’s the oldest one as well. I wrote this with some of favourite co-writers. I started writing it at home in my home studio, but got stuck. So I brought it with me to a studio in the UK and ended up finishing the song there. It’s a very emotional song about losing a loved one.
Probably the most “quiet” song on the album. It’s a bit spooky to be honest, it just has that haunting sound. I wrote it about how some people just seem to slip through your hands, vanishing, like a snowflake. It’s a song about letting go of those people, yet wishing they would stay.
This is the proof I also write upbeat songs, hehe. This one’s a bop. It’s playful, sassy and “in your face”. It’s a song about demanding to be heard and respected in a relationship.
If I Were To Lose You
The song is about the excruciating fear of losing someone you love. I have so much anxiety around that, and I wanted to express in a song how much I appreciate the ones closest to me, and how lost I would be without them. I think it’s important to never take people for granted, and to remind yourself that you’re not going to have them forever. .
The idea for the song came to me out of the blue one day. I was thinking about how sad it is that some people don’t get to see their loved ones grow up, and their loved ones doesn’t get to share their lives with them anymore. There are so many milestones that you’d love to share with them, but can’t. So I wrote a song about it. It ended up as a really pretty piano and vocals ballad.