All three of you readers of this website know that I love Molly Nilsson, the Swedish alt-pop singer-songwriter with a heart of faded gold.
She is an icon in her own right, crafting her entire musical identity by herself. She’s like a small scale Jay-Z, not a business person but a business but, unlike Jay-Z, her creations are distinctly philosophical. That’s one of her most attractive qualities too: she seamlessly folds in a melancholic-yet-positive, everyday hippie worldview into synth heavy songs that discuss everything from climate change to the future. She is the type of person who you want to be around to absorb their worldview, to become as sensational as they are.
While her 2017 release Imaginations is six months old, the album has aged quite nicely (as all of her albums do). Songs like “Money Never Dreams” seems to encapsulate corporate and Republican greed that values itself over people while “Inner Cities” mulls existentialism in one of the most upbeat manners: the album is a fitting match for these times, a flurry of ennui as we stare into an increasingly abyssal future in the dark.
Yet, she’s thinking pink. Bright pink, even! She, like I, is a realist who can be seen as negative but really is just observing the world for what it is. She doesn’t sugar coat, she doesn’t high hope: she observes and reports. In a recent interview with FADER, Molly is at her most Molly, exhibiting all the qualities that long time fans have found in her. If your love for someone is as deep as a well, this interview with Molly adds feet and feet and feet more to the depth of her attractiveness.
In the interview, Molly considers so many things while looking like an Eastern European Vitamin C. She discusses plumbing and astrology and birthdays while even sharing that she likes to smoke Malboros (which she calls Mollyboros, an impossibly cute portmanteau that crushes my mind).
She also shared a moment of process that I thought was quite valuable for writers. Regarding Imaginations and its political nature, she describes her writing the works as such:
I was very interested in being outspoken and taking exact moments and describing them. The tone seems more political, but I think it is also very personal — the two things are obviously hard to separate.
That notion of describing an exact moment is very valuable as it transcends a relaying of what was seen or heard or smelled but gives you a multi-faceted feeling of what happened then.
Another gem about owning who you are, by way of her unpacking what it’s like to write and producer her own music while booking her own tour and making/selling her own merch:
I don’t see how I could be doing this, and writing these songs, without being who I am. It’s this thing where you realize that everything you hate about yourself is the reason for everything you love about yourself. You just have to accept that.
As RuPaul says, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you going to love anyone else?” Molly obviously agrees since one of her new songs is called “Not Today Satan.”
Finally, the most prescient item in the story was her relaying her failed attempt to learn how to drive this year and why this failure was an important moment of realization. Go on, Molly, go on:
Are cars the future? I don’t believe so. And I love trains, I even kind of like buses. I also love being a passenger [in a car]. I’m a really good passenger; I never fall asleep, I put on good music, and I chat. I figured that maybe in life I am not the driver, I am the passenger. But I can look out the window and have a drink.
Thank you for this, Molly. Thank you. Let us all learn to be a bit more passenger than driver, undoing so many pressures and presumptions so that we can enjoy and appreciate what it is we’re good at.