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Catching up with Dolce, Our Latest Umeå Export

They played our London pub The Old Blue Last this week.

Dolce in London at The Old Blue Last. All photos by Magnus Öberg, Nomethod

Anna Levander and Leopold Nilsson are Dolce, an Umeå based duo responsible for making pop pretty as a summer night's dream, but equally as dark. We premiered their first track "Hand i hand" last autumn, which is kind of a coincidence as they were booked at the VICE UK pub The Old Blue Last in London on Tuesday.

Obviously, we wanted to find out a more about the mysterious pair. So while they were waiting to catch a plane back to Umeå via Stockholm the other day, I called them for a little chat.


NOISEY: So this is your first interview?
Leopold Nilsson: Yeah, it feels special. It’s strange to talk about our music in this way, but we’re excited.

What did you guys do before Dolce?
Leopold: I worked with film, and I had another Umeå based band called Yum Yum. So during the past two years I’ve produced music.
Anna Levander: I’m self-taught. I've been playing guitar since I was a kid. After secondary school I started studying to become a music teacher. It was fun 'cause I borrowed stuff such as pedals and synths. I also learned how to produce. It was during those two years I got all mixed up in it.

And then all of a sudden you’re premiering tracks for an international audience. How has the reception been?
Leopold: It’s been beyond expectations. We first released our song "Hand i hand" on Soundcloud, the one you guys premiered. All we did was to upload it. The record label got in touch with us and offered us a deal, and after that it just snowballed. It feels great, the reception has been good and a lot of people have written nice things about us.

Awesome! And you played at the VICE bar in London this week.
Anna: That was fun. We had no idea how the venue would look like, but it was nice and cozy. Very British in a way. We didn’t know the other bands at all but they where great and super nice. The stage was heightened.
Leopold: Which was a good thing, because it made us a lot less nervous compared to our last gig at Landet in Stockholm where we basically just stood on the floor. I sat down while playing guitar and it felt a bit weird when people leaned over you.


Your first song "Hand i hand" was in Swedish, and now "Inez Palema" is in English. What are your thoughts on performing abroad on several languages?
Leopold: We decided pretty early on that if we get an idea for a song we should just go for it, no matter the language. And I mean it seemed like the [British] audience appreciated Swedish.
Anna: Yeah, almost as if it was the thing they liked the most. At least we got most response to that. The melody in the Swedish language is a whole lot different from other languages, so maybe that does it for an international audience. Some guy thought we were Polish though [laughs].

So what’s next for Dolce?
Leopold: In the end of March, we’re playing [music festival] Umeå Open, but first and foremost we’re going to finish a song as soon as we get home. And hopefully we have another gig in Stockholm in February.
Anna: And we’re releasing the EP this spring. We have a lot of material waiting to be produced.
Leopold: I have to admit, it’s kinda peculiar to get booked when you only have two songs. So we've had to make songs to be able to play live. We haven’t done it in that way before, so that’s exciting.

And it will all result in an EP?
Leopold: Yes, we’ll try to get it out before Umeå Open.

Sounds like you have your hands full! Now go catch that flight.

Catch up with Dolce on Facebook, Spotify and Soundcloud.