LonelyTwin is Stockholm singer, songwriter, player, and producer Madelene Eliasson. While the name evokes longing, the project arrives fully formed: a genre-blurring combination of inventive trip-hop, smart indie pop, and evocative electronic folk that subtly slides between blue mood and hard-earned joy. Eliasson’s songs are spectral yet heavy with emotion, and she has the voice to match—a rich but airy coo that coasts through a soundscape of strummed guitar, programmed drums, and intuitively arranged odds and ends. Meanwhile, her lyrics aim for an honesty that’s elusive in real life—like confessions whispered in the dark to the twin sister you never had.
Though LonelyTwin is new, it builds on Eliasson’s past lives in music: working for others as half of the pop songwriting/production team MAD FUN (Le Youth, SHY Martin); and teaming up with Jonathan Olofsson as Jo&Me, whose cover of Drake’s “Too Good” racked up blogosphere love in 2017. She doesn’t rule out collaboration for the far more personal LonelyTwin, but every song begins and ends with Eliasson, alone, in the studio. That approach harkens back to her youth in the wooded Swedish suburbs. As the youngest child, she was given space to get lost in her own world, and she’d often bring with her one of the many instruments scattered around the home.
LonelyTwin’s first release, “I Should Have Told You,” is a perfect introduction to the sound and feel of the musical world Eliasson has carved out for herself. A warbly guitar loop accompanies her breathy apology to an estranged lover: “I’m sorry that I’ve been paper thin, I know it’s hard to lean on.” But her melancholy lifts with the low-key breakbeat that comes next, doubt melts into hope, sorrow becomes healing, and we’re left feeling like everything’s going to be all right, even if that means stomaching a little loneliness. That sense of finding comfort and beauty in unlikely places is a LonelyTwin specialty. Sometimes a missing piece is what actually completes you.