Marcus Palmqvist

Q&A with MIYNT: “I try to be as far away as possible from thinking about what my music is or how it is reciprocated”

The psych pop of Stockholm-based artist and producer Miynt has steadily gained a following over the past two years, and it’s easy to understand why. Her music is like a fog of affection, where you forget everything happening around you, merely transfixed on the voice, beat and melody.

Miynt’s debut album Lonely Beach definitely isn’t a bummer record: loneliness acts an agent of reflection, wisdom and long, exultant gazes towards unknown horizons. It’s the kind of music to hold near on the days when you wish to allow life to unwind in its own pace.

We asked Miynt some questions on what subjects informed the album, her outlook on the future and what her creative process looks like.

What’s the last record you bought?

I didn’t buy it but the latest record I got was Lord of the Rings by Bo Hansson. 

Your song “Vision In The Sky” is an interesting one sonically: one half of it has a jazzy, tropical atmosphere, whereas the other side is mired in Suicide-ish minimalism. How did that song come about, and was there a specific experience that triggered it?

Me and my friends Theo and Joel were in the studio one evening at the end of this summer playing around with an organ. The song just happened, we worked on it the whole night and bounced it out to go home and listen to it and see if we wanted to changed anything. A couple of days later Theo’s hard drive crashed and all the files disappeared. We were supposed to work on it some more and only had this sketch mp3. But I felt like this sketch had something so I decided to put it out as it is. It’s not even mixed.

You’ve been going about your release output very patiently. Of course, Corona may or may not have played a part in that, but do you feel that’s been beneficial for you as an artist regardless?

I want to put out music faster, I think a big reason is that I haven’t been able to survive on music so I have had to do other stuff that has been taking time. I would prefer to be able to only focus on music.

What was it about “Lonely Beach” that screamed ‘title track’ to you, as something that sort of encompasses what became quite a diverse record.

“Lonely Beach” became kind of a metaphor for where my head was at during the time I worked on these songs. I also like the sound of those words combined and it felt like it was the obvious name for the record. 

When I listen to your voice, I hear a lot of escaping and playing it cool, but your production chops feel almost like a second voice in there. I’m wondering how you view the relationship between singing and producing, and how those two aspects of your craft tell a complete story.

I think that the voice and the instrumental parts are almost equally important, I feel like a melody itself sometimes can tell a better story than a lyric. But if a lyric is good it can outplay the melody. They live in symbiosis and I want to give space for both. I listen to songs that way, like it’s a puzzle and all the bits are telling the story.

It appears “Give Me Palm Trees and Inner Peace’” was written from the perspective of an eBay worker. How did that idea hatch exactly?

Haha well it was a good narrative. I have to confess that it’s my illusion of an eBay-worker, I just wanted to fit in the sentence ”He lives and dies with his wi-fi” somewhere so I had to build around that. I don’t know anyone that works at eBay, please contact me if you do.

What were the recording sessions like? Were there any happy accidents that made it in. Was there a strong schedule or did everyone go about it in a more relaxed way?

There has been no strong schedules, I’ve been recording a lot of songs with my friend Karl Hovmark and we’ve gone about it in a very chill manner and worked when possible. We just work and have fun and then we go home. Some of the songs I did myself, that has also been a very chill process, I work a bit and then I take like 300 walks around some lake with it in headphones to decide if it’s good or if I hate it. And then I’ve done some songs with my friend Theo which has been awesome. I think that the process of making almost all songs has been very chill and fun.

If you could show me a mood board for this record – a film, a piece of visual art, one a record, a particular place – what pops up in your mind?

That’s a tricky question. I feel like different songs belong to different worlds. One song I know for sure though is “Vanilla Sky”, that belongs in a 80s movie about a cop? 

You said in one interview you moved several times in the last few years: where exactly? Can these places be explicitly tied to some of the songs?

I think that LA has been playing a part sound wise. I really loved living in LA and being a part of that musical scene. That was like seven years ago now though but it still represents another type of life for me, the life that got away, but not necessarily in a bad way. And it might come back one day, who knows? 

Your music sounds like it could have come from any era in pop music. Still it begs the question, where do you see yourself in that whole conversation of nostalgia vs. cutting edge?

I haven’t really thought about that. I haven’t had the ambition to be either of those two. When I make music I try to be as far away as possible from thinking about what my music is or how it is reciprocated. I just want to find a room where I can make whatever comes out of me and then other people can decide that later. I mean I do understand that I am influenced by music that I like and decades that I’m more drawn to, but I just try to stay away from having too strong of an idea of what my music might be. 

 Has your idea of what it means to be successful changed since your career started?

I think that my idea of success is pretty similar as it was before. My goal is to be able to work with music and put out stuff and then work on new stuff. So kind of what I do today with the exception of being able to make a living out of it and do all the work from an infinity pool.

You also said your life is defined by many different phases. Do you feel yourself entering a new one? What’s motivating you at the moment?

I’ve felt happier in my own skin the last three years, I feel like I am doing what I’m supposed to and I’m not questioning myself as much as I did before. This phase feels like a really fun one! 

Lonely Beach is out now on B3Sci Records; listen below or on your preferred streamer. You can follow Miynt on Facebook and Instagram.