For The Love Of Blue Winters, Don’t Cry Again.
What comes to mind when you think of Switzerland? Typical responses might include Swiss milk chocolate loaded with cocoa butter, pristine lakes and alpine mountains which make up over 60% of the country’s territory. The time-sensitive amongst us might also associate Switzerland with luxury watches such as Rolex, Tissot, Tag Heuer and Cartier. The survivalists will undoubtedly think of the famous Swiss Army Knives. The Scientists and Mathematicians will know Albert Einstein, whilst having been born to the German Empire, became a Swiss Citizen at the age of 22 which he kept until his passing (as well as becoming a German citizen again at the age of 38, and an American Citizen at the age of 61).
When it comes to music, your mind may well muster images of men dressed in folk costumes, pressing puffed cheeks to alphorns, or yodelling into oblivion atop snowy peaks. Outside of that, it’s a little more challenging to call to mind famous Swiss musicians, unless you’re Swiss – and if we ignore Tina Turner, the most famous of all.
Yes, you read that right. Tina Turner and Einstein have that in common. Tennessee born Turner (rather ‘Bullock’, let’s get it right) relinquished her birthright citizenship to become a Swiss citizen relatively recently, in 2013 having lived in Küsnacht, in the district of Meilen for the past 27 years. Rumour has it that she’d visited Sennwald, not far from Lichtenstein, to take part in a séance at the birthplace of Anna Göldi, who was the last person to ever be executed in Europe for Witchcraft. Turner made a pact with Göldi’s headless ghost in exchange for everlasting youth right there in that house in Sennwald*, which is coincidentally just 16km and 20 minutes’ drive from the artist featuring in this article.
Elen / Don’t Cry Again
Elen’s latest album ‘Xx’ was released this month
Having marvelled at the alpine vistas, measured our progress against trusty Swiss timepieces, paused to absorb the horn blowing and yodelling with a luxurious milky chocolate treat and met Einstein and Turner along the way, we arrive at our Altstätten destination, greeted by retro sounding synths and dreamy melodic vocals. This is where we meet Elen, a young singer-songwriter, pianist/ keyboardist and aspiring producer – more commonly known as the artist ‘Don’t Cry Again’. We got to talk to him about his interest in music and what drives his creativity… and this is what he said.
Likes – Art, literature, films, music, cosmetics, hair;)
Dislikes – Violence, injustice, depression, sunny days
“I am a young songwriter from a small village in Switzerland. I studied pop piano and I teach piano at a school with teenagers. I live for the music. My soul speaks through my songs and my music is carried by a sensitivity and longing for the unattainable, often speaking of unrequited love. I am a withdrawn boy with autistic traits, and I compose my songs in my bedroom. I love winter and the colour blue.
I have been connected to music since I was a child and began playing the piano when I was about seven, quickly discovering my love for pop music. I adore the eighties and especially like synth and pad sounds. Some of the bands I like include; The Midnight, Bleachers, Sun Kil Moon, The Smashing Pumpkins, David Bowie, Klaus Nomi, Nightly, Vancouver Sleep Clinic, to name a few. I also feel deeply connected to Ketil Bjornstad’s album Rainbow Sessions. This is pure piano music. Something burns in his songs. A deep melancholy. A melancholy and also lightness. Sometimes it doesn’t need a voice.
I want to help people to get through life with my music– Elen
Usually I create a melody or a chord sequence, then decorate them with sounds that I create myself and let myself go and start singing about them. The lyrics usually just fly to me, I don’t always succeed but diving into the uniform field is the best thing for me. David Lynch speaks of the fact that all creativity is hidden or hidden there.
My songs are mostly melancholy. I am a melancholy. I want to keep the youthfulness in my songs and sing about topics that appeal to young people in particular. The songs are very spherical, sensitive, calm, emotional and full of all my love. I sing about my homosexuality. I want to help people to get through life with my music, when it is sometimes difficult. Give you courage… You’re kidnapped into my world. Don’t cry again. It spurs me on to produce better and better songs, to mix and master them myself. I am so happy when I get positive feedback. That’s actually all it takes.
My new album “Xx” was released this month. It means a lot to me because I process a lot in it that has gone badly in my life recently. Some of them are hard texts about drugs or suicide. But there is still hope. I am really looking forward to the reactions of the listeners. And… I love my mom. Thanks for everything, mom.”
You can find Elen’s releases on Bandlab and Bandcamp.