Release Date: Apr 7, 2017
Record label: Lisch Recordings
Vanbot - aka Swedish musician Ester Ideskog - was accompanied on the 17-day trip from Moscow to Beijing journey by Petter Winnberg of Swedish pop groups Amason and Little Majorette, and producer Johannes Berglund, who has previous with The Knife, FKA Twigs and Owen Pallett. The trip was an attempt to break free from the mundane setting of the recording studio, and explore something new, both mentally and physically. "I had been dreaming about this for years, almost possessed by the idea" says Ideskog.
Swedish electropop musician Ester Ideskog was well on her way to completing her third album under the name Vanbot, yet it still wasn't right. In a daring move, she scrapped those efforts and sought a break from the confines of a recording studio. To thaw her frozen inspiration, she chose an entirely new locale: the Trans-Siberian Railway. The resulting album Siberia was written and recorded entirely on board a train trundling along the longest railway line in the world, which also runs through some of the most sparsely populated regions of the planet.
You can make music anywhere these days. Laptops can pack in all the audio-processing power of a high-end studio. Singers can roll over in bed, reach for their smartphone, and record a fleeting melody before the cobwebs have cleared; techno producers can bang out a beat on their tablet while they're sitting on the can. Electronic music's mobile recording methods have spawned an entire mini-genre of photographs depicting EDM producers peering purposefully at Ableton while in transit.
Vanbot is the musical vehicle of Ester Ideskog, a songstress out of Sweden who lives in the world of electronic pop occupied by alterna-pop acts like CHVRCHES and Grimes, with a healthy dollop of country-mate Robyn thrown in for good measure. To date, her music has been a collection of singles and a couple of albums that have painted her as a capable-if-workmanlike singer/songwriter, good at constructing pop songs but with some difficulty connecting with an audience. Siberia may succeed at connecting with an audience, but in a very different way than one would typically expect from a pop artist.