Interview with Mountain Bird

Adam Öhman has been crafting ethereal emotional tracks under the Mountain Bird moniker for a little while now but his new single “Dream” has him transitioning into a grander, cinematic sound that is sure to catch your attention. “Dream” is the first track off his upcoming full length LP due in spring of 2016 and as he was kind enough to take some time from the album and preparing to tour to sit down and chat with me about Mountain Bird.

I know a lot of creatives who can trace their passion back to one specific moment in their life. Is there a moment in your past that you can look at and know for sure that that was the moment you had decided to devote your life to music?

Adam Öhman: I remember tons of those moments, and I believe I haven’t had my best “Moment” yet. Off course when I got an Explosions In The Sky record from my sister when I was thirteen, that record has had such a big impact in the way I pursue music today. More than I want to realize. And another one was back in 2011 when I heard James Blake live for the first time, it was so powerful, I couldn’t realize what just happened. Also when I saw someone cry to my music the first time.. haha.. that’s a really special feeling… to make someone feel something.

How did Mountain Bird get its start?

Adam: It basically started out during a really hard time of my life, back in 2011 when I got left alone pretty much. My parents got divorced and my sister moved to a different country. I saved money to buy myself an iMac and just started fiddling around making noises with GarageBand and on it went.

“Dream” is such a beautifully cinematic and sprawling track. What inspired this song specifically?

Adam: I often had problems sleeping, I still do, so I decided to write a track about that and what thoughts come into your mind when you’re awake in the lonely hour. For me it was my dream.. Mountain Bird. So it’s basically a tribute to having ambitions that are beyond working in an office.

Even after just one track I can tell that this album is going to feature some of your most ambitious work yet and you took quite some time to put it together. What was the writing and recording process like for the album?

Adam: I have to say thank you and that I think so as well, but I wouldn’t even consider calling my earlier stuff “Songs,” it’s just plain noise and nonsense compared to what I’ve been working on.

I’ve rented a new studio at Fridhemsplan in the center of Stockholm and got myself a Prophet and a moog synth. And that’s basically all I use, and drum samples together with a guitar and my voice. I wanted to create something that has the pop formula but it’s still sophisticated enough to play in some rough club in Berlin. I’ve started listening to a lot more British-electronic music so I guess that has had it’s influence on me as well. And the album is not yet finished, I have just worked around a year on it so I need to give it a little bit more time. I mean I don’t release an album just because, it needs to have top notch tracks as well.

A lot of your music contains so much emotion and seems so personal that I find myself quite transfixed with it. This is very clear in “Dream” and I find it very therapeutic to listen to it, I wonder if you find it the same when you’re writing and performing?

Adam: I’m glad that you feel that way because that’s what I’m using my music for, as therapy. I am now and I always will. It’s that one friend that always listens to what you have to say. I sat at a dinner last week after I’ve been in the studio writing music and I couldn’t say a word just because I always drain my brain in my music, it’s my free zone

What do you hope listeners take away from “Dream” and the new album when it comes out?

Adam: I hope that they feel complete when they listen to it, because that’s how I feel when making it. As long as you feel something, otherwise it’s not a good song, that’s my one rule.

Spring 2016 still seems so far away, what else can you tell us about the new album? Will we get another single or two before it drops to help make the wait a little easier?

Adam: Yes! I will start playing live next week with tracks from the album, and release two singles, one more this year besides “Dream” and then one in the beginning of 2016 followed by my debut album.

I’m always interested to find out what music the musicians I know are currently listening to so what are you currently listening to?

Adam: It’s been lot’s of good new electronic stuff! SOHN, James Blake, BANKS and lot’s of Moderat, really aggressive and emotional modern electronic music!

What’s next for Mountain Bird?

Adam: I will officially release “Dream” the 21st of October and then I have a little surprise. I’m going to work with a really great Swedish booking agency that I cannot name yet, but It will be great, lot’s of shows both in Sweden and rest of Europe will come! Then another single together with a super beautiful video in November and then another single followed up by my debut album! But I’m really looking forward to playing live now, and it will start the 16th September here in Stockholm with a big showcase!