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Down The Memory Lane


Sometimes it's fun to get lost in an old external hard-drive and find old treasures from adventures long-gone. It's nice that looking back the past usually seems more fun and I feel more forgiving for my shortcomings. Like look at that crazy tiger above from 2006! This was a photo from an album cover shoot we did with Varpu Eronen for the American version of Poverina (it came out in the US in 2007 through Minty Fresh). Obviously, the pic never made it anywhere...

This here lady is me in Hollywood in 2007. Oh how I miss those days and the lovely Irina who took this picture.

This black&white photo is from a tour of Germany in 2010. I remember I didn't like the way I looked in these photos when I saw them back in the day. Now I just see the long hair and and feel nostalgia for the days and the person I think I was. Here's to hoping that in five years my current position will seem fabulous and the present even more so. This was my short message from the abyss of songwriting break. See you soon again!




Illustration by Varpu Eronen
I'm so glad the new year is here. Last year was the most difficult I ever had, but it is behind me now.
And I'm here and feel light. And somehow free in a way that is hard to put to words.
January begins with songwriting for me. And so the year will go, because I need new songs like life needs water. It's time.

A handful of live shows will happen this year still. Next up: Soliti Winter Beach Party on January 30th. It is important for you to be there, if you believe that we need alternative artists and bands to keep doing their work on a professional level in Finland. This show will be all about raising money for SOLITI so that it can keep going and releasing great Finnish music. Times are tough. But sounds are good. Ten bands in one night. You need to come to Helsinki for the 30th of January.

On February 4th I will perform @Tekosyyklubi. It's a monthly songwriter's club organized by Elvis ry. Anssi Kela will be performing on the same night there, so hello! Better get there early!

Last year I wrote about bucket lists. This year I won't make promises or bucket lists, but I do have one wish: I want to experience Paris. It is a need really. I have the perfect boots and trench coat for the trip, just tickets and hotel needed.

Hope you are starting your New Year in good spirit!


Fall shows and recovering


Hi there,
I'm happy to tell you that Flow festival was such a great way to return to playing live! Thank you kind people in the audience.
Solitifest was a blast, also. We did a duo show with Mikael. Some people cried. That's how we roll!

It's great that there is a little more live performing coming this autumn while I mostly take time off to recover from a hellish ride of cancer treatment. The recovering is going fine though, thanks for asking. My hair is growing and it is acting as a simile to everything else.

Next you can catch me and the band in Helsinki @Gloria Kulttuuriareena September, the 26th. Black Twig will be there too. This show is special because instead of Alina (who can't make the show), Niko Votkin will be playing the drums, so it's going to be a once-in-a-life-time chance to see the album line-up of Astrid4 playing together.

Then in October we play @Höstfest in Jyväskylä. Seems like a perfect festival. And Alina is back!
There will be more in October and later this year, so stay tuned.

PS. Astrid4 has come out in South Korea via Chili Music! Yeah!



Marianne Faithfull in The Girl On A Motorcycle

Observations from the past months:
–happiness does not necessarily disappear from life once you become seriously ill
(in fact, I have noticed that good health and happiness have nothing to do with each other)
–colours seem brighter
–really boring and mundane days are the best
–while energy is often something I do not have at all, then when the better days come, I feel like I could run a marathon, write an album in one sitting and throw big parties all the time. I feel more happy than ever that is.
–sick people don't constantly think about being ill
–losing my hair is harder to deal with than losing a breast
–today I referred to 'those people who have lost a part of their body' forgetting that I am one of those poor people...
–illness does not make you any more understanding or smart or compassionate...
–there are jokes to be made and laughs to be had everyday

–Finally, I feel the tickling in my brain of new song ideas beginning to gather above my head like clouds. So I'm pretty sure there will be songs too.


ASTRID4 Out in the UK today!


It's been a little quiet here recently, while I deal with being ill and having treatments. Days go by with nothing news worthy – quite the opposite. Still, there are happy days and great good news every now and again. Like today. I am over the moon about my album coming out in the UK today. I hope the album is found by understanding ears. Who knows, maybe I'll make it there in the autumn.
Black Bear And a Hoofer is the new single from Astrid4 and it got a premier on Clash on this very day.
How great is that?

This is what Soliti says about the whole deal:

Astrid Swan‘s Astrid4 album receives a UK release via Soliti on the 22nd April 2014. To celebrate this, you can download/share the new single Black Bear & A Hoofer, a track that easily embodies many of the themes found on Astrid4. As Astrid points out “I don’t care for the forest. Never been a nature creature really. I don’t go berry picking in August, I’m fine in the city. But a natural order began to outline itself in the concrete. There are black bears behind my closed eyes, wild deer hoofs in the night.”

Clash premiered Black Bear & A Hoofer today and said of Astrid4 “An expansive, sumptuously produced record, it matches the odd Americana flourish to baroque pop arrangements worthy of ELO.Shamelessly pop and outrageously ambitious”

A few shop links for the UK too:
Buy from UK outlets: AmazoniTunes, SpotifyVirgin MediaPlayEBayBandcampJunoDiscorderRhythm OnlineShellshock etc etc.

Talk soon darlings!

Tavastia pictures


All photos by Jouko Vatanen
Tavastia 12.2.2014

Show Stopper


So here's the sad news:
I have been talking about sudden changes here, and bucket lists...and not entirely out of curiosity, but because I have been diagnosed with a serious illness. Unfortunately, I have cancelled my upcoming live shows. I won't be able to play live for some months as I will be having treatments. It could be a short while or a longer one. All depends on how my treatment goes. I'm not sure how much I want to share in public, as everything is still so new to me. So I'll stick to this short announcement for now.
One day soon, I'll probably share much more. Maybe even more than some would like to know...

I'll be back I'm sure. Back for shows and back in writing, and on air...what ever I can come up with. I know some people will ask what they could do for me as I am sick, I'd say if you don't know me well, the best thing you could do for me and my family is to go and buy Astrid4. I really mean it. It would help. Every sold record will actually help me directly. I'm not on a big and complicated label, so if you buy my music the money will actually make its way to me. Go to Stupido, Soliti, ÄX, or walk to your nearest shop. And if you know me better, come and hang out! I'm still here you know, and it is very likely I'll be bored in the coming months.

I'll be fighting!

PS. Tavastia was fun and great! Thanks for being there.