Today marks the release of Steele‘s hotly-anticipated debut album ‘Paroxysm‘.
If the pre-album singles staked her claim as a pop prodigy, the album confirms it. The full-length sees Steele use her brush with death to breathe a new lease of life into pop music, marrying life-affirming lyrics with serpentine vocals and a backdrop of electro-noir.
With each boundary-breaking offering Steele is paving her way to mainstream consciousness, proving she’s got what it takes to earn a place in today’s pop pantheon. Judging by her features in Rolling Stone, Billboard, and Clash, it seems the music world is inclined to agree. We spoke to the Stockholm-hailing songwriter to find out about the formula behind her songs.
The subject matter of your songs is increasingly dark, where do you draw your inspiration from?
I guess a big, and very recent thing, is I got a really serious case of meningitis over Christmas and New Years and almost died. I was put in a medically induced coma for days and hospitalised for a few weeks and ended up becoming epileptic as a result.
How did this experience refresh your perspective on songwriting?
Also because the whole experience have made me less cynical and inspired me in my process of creating and appreciating. I think the following EPs/albums will be permeated by this phase of my life.
Who is your music for?
The sound is heavy, melancholic and cinematic, kind of like Disney music for grown-ups. The tracks are an institution for any persons dark or emotional places, Steele is a powerful, stoic no-bullshit entity.
What’s the story behind the album’s title?
I just decided to name the album ‘Paroxysm’ which basically means “an outburst of emotions” – because that’s what it really is. The songs were written related and inspired by real events and people, however, with a slightly higher drama level.