Something Beautiful: Clash Meets iris
iris (born Vilde Iris Hartveit Kolltveit) is a sensitive soul, absorbing everything going on around her and using her experiences to influence her infectious sound. Her music is deeply emotional, contrasted against warm, minimalist electronic beats.
Take recent single ‘Cotton Candy’, an oh-so-personal recounting of a romantic experience, with her voice murmuring: "Something beautiful happened last night / Now there's pink fluffy clouds on my mind..."
Asked about ‘Cotton Candy’, Bergen-based iris said, “I’m very happy with it. It’s about love in a way and me just allowing myself to love. A new kind of love. I was a bit confused”. The inspiration behind ‘Cotton Candy is very personal. “It was my first real experience with a girl. That was kind of new and also nice. [It felt like] home”.
Her recently released four-track EP ‘femme florale’ is an exploration of her own sexuality, love and connection. It is a coming of age piece, capturing all the intense feelings of early adulthood. “The whole EP was (about) very different moods that happened in my life”.
The material tackles growth, inner development (a “wish to become better”) and a desire to “let go”. “All these feelings...spring and summer, warm feelings” inspired the EP.
‘Femme Florale’ follows her debut EP ‘A Sensitive Being’ released in April, which featured five intimate, electronic tracks. The process of iris’ songwriting is heavily lyric-focused with the music following after. Her songwriting process is “very organic” and quite reactionary. “I either have this thing I have to say or a feeling and then…”
Again, with ‘Femme Florale’, there is a deep sensitivity to her lyrics. She envisages her songs as little films and uses film trailers as inspiration for her songs. She also creates moods with her songs. Her musical influences are quite varied. They include BANKS, FKA twigs and Bon Iver, but she was also raised on The Beatles’ ‘Rubber Soul’ (with ‘Norwegian Wood' being her favourite song on the record).
On touring with Aurora last month, iris is very honest. “Really fun. Intense. My first tour ever. (It was) overwhelming”. Despite being overwhelming, iris also describes the touring experience as “The best thing I’ve done. The most fun” and she was “grateful for being a part of it”. The tour even included a show at London’s historic Roundhouse venue.
At just 22, iris is showing incredible potential. In 2020, there are plans to “write a lot of music” which includes starting on an album. As she puts it: “That’s my dream...”
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Clash has also obtained a mini-documentary that highlights the creative processes behind 'femme florale' - watch it blelow.
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'femme florale' is out now.
Words: Narzra Ahmed
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