Who is the young singer who could be the incarnate of Florence Welsh’s and PJ Harvey’s illegitimate child?
Weekend Music PT. 46: Brimheim’s ‘Radically dynamic tenderness’
How does your stage name “Brimheim” come about?
Brimheim is my mom’s last name and it means ‘home of the breaking waves’ in Faroese. Apart from being a beautiful name and paying homage to my heritage, I feel like it vividly sums up the essence of the music I make.
What inspires / drives you to make music?
I use music to be fully present in feelings I have a difficult time being frank about in other ways. Songwriting and performing have become quite essential for me, because it’s a way for me to create a clear channel where there’s very little shame about my own vulnerabilities and shortcomings. I can exist honestly through poetry and music.
In your music you find a dymanic of two contrary worlds, a fusion of fear and hope. How would you describe this collusion?
I guess you could say I’m a pretty turbulent person. Or at least my experience is. I’ve struggled with intense anxiety for most of my life and that obviously influences the stuff I write about and how I express myself. However there seems to be a stubbornly “glass-half-full” part of my brain that helps me return to an optimistic state of mind, even through my most volatile feelings.
In “Poison fizzing on a tongue” you talk about a toxic relationship, something many people can identify with, in a ruthlessly honest way and show your fight back to your own freedom. We are often good at giving advice, but bad at following it ourselves. Does your music empower yourself as well?
Oh, for sure! It’s almost like magic how you can hold seemingly contradictory feelings all at once through music. That’s why I love performing so much. I can stand in my full power, sing about deep heartache, and feel joy in the expression simultaneously. That is in its essence empowering. In the video for “poison fizzing on a tongue” I was aiming for embodying some of these contradictions – vulnerability and strength synchronously.
Everything about your music is very personal and one shares your pain, experiences, courage and strength, and most of all your hope. How does it feel to you letting so many people participate your own intimate feelings, especially because emotionality often even seem tabooed by society?
I feel so lucky to get to do that! It’s what makes art and music so important. It’s a way to universalize the specifics, you know. It makes us all more human to participate in each other’s experience and through the language of music it becomes accessible in a unique way. Sure, I have vulnerability hangovers every once in a while, but I’ve gotten fairly comfortable being exposed in that way.
On January 28th your debut album “Can’t hate myself into a different shape” will be released, what were the topics that occupied you the most here?
I was recovering from a six months long depressive episode when we started making this album and I think that it’s evident throughout the record. It’s about depression, self-harm, and breakdown. But it is also about tender resilience, recovery, and self-acceptance.
How would you describe the album in 3 words?
‘Radically dynamic tenderness’
With “Favorite day of the week” you already gave a little insight into the album. You talk about the beginnings of a romantic relationship and the problems that often get in the way. When you’ve been hurt before, it’s often hard to get involved with another person again. What gives you the courage to hold on and not lose hope, even though it is complicated sometimes?
Like I mentioned before, I am stubbornly hopeful. And I am too curious to not move forward and take chances. When I met my wife I had recently come out of an unhealthy relationship and it took some time for me to adjust to being in a healthy one. I had to step up my game, you know. She is an amazing person and I wanted to be a great partner worthy of her, so I had to face up to my own shit. Shedding bad habits and self-centered thinking was really tough at times but it was also super exciting, seeing myself grow into something bigger and better than before. Just that curiosity and excitement about a beautiful person, what is to come, and who you might grow into alongside them.
A shadow side also plays a big role here, a side that everyone carries with them, but still try to hide. You show this quite openly. Why do you think it is important to make this side visible?
It’s important to me personally because it’s my way of trying to connect with people without any pretense. We’re all just trying to live fulfilling lives — bullshit baggage, unhealthy coping mechanisms, and all. I’d like people to feel comfortable and accepting of that shadowy side of themselves – probably because I’m so shit at it myself. I have a difficult time being emotionally vulnerable outside of music, but I have the ability through my songwriting and that’s why I keep returning to these personal topics.
“Hey Amanda” is the latest preview of the upcoming debut album and a nostalgic memory of a light-hearted childhood friendship, a declaration of love to a close friend.
Interview: Carolin Desiree Becker
Credit: Hey Jack & Brimheim