A new collaboration between songwriters Astrid Swan and Stina Koistinen debuts via Soliti – listen to first single ‘Diagnosis’
Swan/Koistinen EP is an art pop symphony for two voices. The EP depicts life with chronic, incurable illness, and brings sick women’s experiences close to the listener through music.
The project unites two artists’ voices for a moment celebrating the importance of co-survivors (or thrivers/metavivors) and the power of sharing with others in similar situations. The songs on the EP deal with issues that arise when living as a sick woman. Life continues but everything has changed. The music brings up fragility, sadness over loss, and the elated giddiness of living. It also discusses embodiment, becoming a subject of medicine and argues for the importance of listening to marginalised, crip and chronic people’s voices.
The songs, co-composed by Swan and Koistinen, recorded and produced by Swan, are made of hospital atmosphere, human voice, electronics, piano and Canadian pop visionary Owen Pallett’s string arrangements (Arcade Fire, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Frank Ocean, Charlotte Gainsbourg).
The first single from the EP, ‘Diagnosis’ is out now followed by the EP in May 2019. The EP will appear in a visual album format directed by photographer Tekla Vály.
Lyrics and music: Astrid Swan & Stina Koistinen
Vocals: Stina Koistinen & Astrid Swan
Instruments: Astrid Swan
String arrangement, performance and engineering: Owen Pallett
Engineering and production: Astrid Swan
Mastering: Dick Beetham @ 360 Mastering, UK
In summer 2019 Swan/Koistinen will perform the EP live with occasional special appearances. The shows will combine music, video art and light to form a unique celebration of coming together.
Singer and musician Stina Koistinen has lived with brain cancer for nine years. Her cancer started in the pineal gland when she was 24, was next found in the pituitary and later in the cerebrospinal canal. Koistinen has gone through three courses of radiation, four brain surgeries and lives with hormone replacement therapy. Now cancer has been inactive for 1.5 years. Still, each day and month is a precious gift when you have heard doctors repeatedly utter “after this treatment there is nothing we can do”.
Singer and songwriter Astrid Swan has lived with cancer for five years. She got a diagnosis for breast cancer in January 2014, at the age of 32, as a mother of a two-year-old. In May 2017 she was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. At this point Swan has gone through three operations, two rounds of chemo, one set of radiation therapy and 5 years on hormone blockers as well as every three weeks receiving intravenous maintenance therapy. Currently her state is stable and the maintenance is keeping cancer cells invisible.
Sina Koistinen has released three highly regarded albums with her band Color Dolor, the latest of which, Love , was released Spring 2018. The video for the Color Dolor song ‘Anyway The Wind Blows’ won the main prize at last year’s prestigious OMV Festival. The Love album is nominated for Finland’s Teosto prize in 2019. Koistinen has also been the recipient of the Finnish Music Publishers free category music award.
Musician and composer Astrid Swan has made 5 albums and one covers album over the course of her career. As well as releases in Finland her music has been welcomed by audiences in the USA and Germany. In 2018, Swan’s last album From the Bed and Beyond won the main album prize in Finland’s largest music award, the Teosto Prize. From the Bed and Beyond was also nominated for last year’s Nordic Music Prize.
Rumba, Desibeli, Päivän Biisit“Kun Swan ja Koistinen puhuvat, kirjoittavat, laulavat ja soittavat, silloin on syytä pysähtyä ja kuunnella.”
Soundi, Austin Town Hall“This is a special song… in telling that story, the depth is established by the song’s arrangement; it’s sparse and emotional, aided by the string work of Owen Pallett and light electronics/piano bubbling from the depths of the song”
Indie30 ” a disorienting representation of the mental space between hopeful denial and crushing reality.”