It's Heartbreak Century
It was a magic moment. I had been writing songs for the 5th Sunrise Avenue album for a few years already and I had almost a hundred song ideas or demo recordings on my phone. I had been on another writing trip to Stockholm for two weeks and I was mega tired, felt lonelier than ever and didn’t see much light at the end of the tunnel. Nothing great enough seemed to come out. They had also just removed my wisdom teeth (now it makes me laugh;) one day before I flew from Helsinki (even though the doctor told me not fly), so I had a nice mouth ache and singing wasn’t optimal as my mouth was hammered all new.
But then that final weekend in Stockholm changed it all. It had started great with Maria & Victor, my song writing buddies on our first day as we wrote “Afterglow.” I loved their energy, talent and also the way our souls connected from the start.
On our second morning I went roller blading before the session and I listened through my phone’s song ideas. I have always recorded ideas, where ever they happen, to my phone. Even nowadays you might catch me anywhere (sports event, grocery store, plane, even in bed) with my phone singing and recording a melody with some bla-bla-blaa lyrics. I guess this will never change. You need to capture every idea even in strange situations as the best ones don’t come out in studios or when you want them to, they happen when the stars are right and you need to be ready anywhere and always. The challenge is that you end up with hundreds of melody and song ideas and it’s time consuming going through them. Sometimes I drive my car or motorbike for hours and go thought them and most of the ideas make me think “why the hell have I even recorded this…”
Rolling downhill by Götgatan’s restaurant terraces towards my hotel shower before our second writing day, I heard again this folky Irish-kind of a melody that had been on my song idea bank for quite some time. I had been waiting for the right moment to present this tune to some cowriters and now I felt like the time had come. I had finally found the connection great enough for the tune that I had been hiding for months. And so I decided to let it out.
We started the second writing day with the two Swedes at the studio terrace and we had breakfast together. I had my dear Gibson Jumbo with me and I played them the chorus melody and after that things happened fast. Five hours later “Heartbreak Century” was pretty much done as you hear it on the album today. That same evening Ubering back to the hotel I believed again that Sunrise Avenue will take one more step up as a band and that we would have more years together with the boys. After Heartbreak Century, we wrote “I Help You Hate Me” the next day. And in the next session “Question Marks.” Universe was on our side. And Christoffer at Sony Music Publishing who put me together with these two miracles.
They always ask me to name my favorite Sunrise Avenue song. That’s impossible, but “Heartbreak Century” could be it. And it was clear to me from that weekend that it would also be the album title. In a strange way it’s just another love song, but also so much more. I feel it says something that needs to be said these crazy times. Especially in between the lines. To me it does at least.
In general I love the softer vibe on the whole “Heartbreak Century” album. It’s closer to what I’m made of. I come from the singer-songwriter world much more than from the rock planet. I love the previous Sunrise Avenue albums like my own children, but this one looks the most like me. Small songs about little moments and life. Played finally by amazing Sunrise boys in studio with lots of passion and love. It’s perfect.
I always wanted to direct Sunrise Avenue music videos myself. And finally with this one I had to do it. I loved my own idea more than any directors suggestions. The live situation, the phones, room full of people and love. It was of course a bit challenging as I had to save my energy for the show that evening in Switzerland and as I am also one of the characters on screen. Luckily I found a great local team and co-director to help me out. It all worked out perfect. I watched the video again yesterday after a long break and it killed me in a very beautiful way. Just look at us all. So much love and energy and joy. God, I miss that and all those moments with you all.
I will never stop writing songs. I have done a thousand hours of therapy in my life, explored too many books to understand myself and I have listened to deep wisdom whenever I have had the chance. Still I will never fully understand what happens in me when a new song is born. I’m somehow broken inside, like we all are, and writing a song heals me completely for a short moment. I bet I’ll be like this forever. And I’m blessed to have my cure.
Happy belated 4th birthday Heartbreak Century. And thank you all for singing along and making it even more beautiful and meaningful <3
Big hugs from an airplane once again. Be safe and see you very soon,
PS: I know yesterday was the real birthday. I was supposed to post this last night, but then my mom needed help with her renovation project and I drove her some drills and equipment. First things & moms first <3