Now, the Normandie singer is ready to open up and share his true story for the first time, and the band’s propulsive, incendiary recent single Jericho represents the first chapter in that tale. “When we first wrote Jericho I was actually singing about something else,” he begins. “It was originally about a relationship where the other person was very cold hearted and they didn’t really give away any emotions. So that was where the line, ‘I want to burn it down, watch it fall apart’ came from, but it became increasingly clear that something else was driving the song. Writing became like a therapy session for me, all of a sudden,” he explains, “I felt like there was something deeper I wanted to touch on. I wanted to really go into this emotion. Something was driving me down there, into myself. So I made a conscious decision to write about my personal experiences for the first time. I felt like it was time. I went back and I switched some words around so that the entire meaning of the song shifted. It became about breaking down the old to give way and form something completely new.”
Soon, the wider world will bear witness to this something new in the form of Dark and Beautiful Secrets, the band’s forthcoming album, set for release on Easy Life Records on February 19’th. It’s the third full-length from the Stockholm trio – completed by guitarist Håkan Almbladh and drummer Anton Franzon – following the incredible success of 2018’s White Flag, which has amassed over 24 million streams. In reality though, this will be the first opportunity for fans to hear the band as they truly are. Buoyed by the thematic seeds instinctively sown into Jericho, Philip felt compelled to dig deeper than ever before and poured his heart out, tapping into a wellspring of personal experience to create each of these 10 new tracks. Facing up to the things that he’d kept hidden away for so long made for some uncomfortable and difficult self-analysis, but that reflection was necessary to produce a record that can really resonate and mean something to people.
So what exactly <are> these intriguing secrets? Exposing who he is to the world for the first time, Philip writes with unflinching candour about everything from panic attacks (Hostage) to his fractious relationship with the internet (Atmosphere), and how the need to dig deeper into yourself can make you lose track of reality (Babylon). He writes about love and lust, and how confusing the two can lead to learning harsh lessons about your personal worth (Chemicals). He examines who he was as a child and how much his life and his values have changed in adulthood (Mission Control). Underpinning all of these personal revelations, however, is the moment his life changed forever, aged 14, when he turned his back on the church he grew up in (Holy Water, Bury Me Alive, Renegade). “I still believe in something, I still have my faith and that’s what’s kind of crooked about it,” he explains, revealing the ongoing process that comes with attempting to make sense of the complexities of the past. “It was a very poisonous vibe to be in that environment as a teenager. I look back at that time and I wouldn’t wish it upon anybody, but it doesn’t have to be about religion. It’s about breaking free from the path that was chosen for you, to start carving out a new one.”
In a way, stepping into the unknown is what Normandie have done with this album. It required something of an artistic cleansing to get there, but in the spirit of making peace with the past, the hope is that the record can inspire a similar sense of freedom among the audience who welcome it into their lives.
“I’ve just gone with my gut on this,” Philip says proudly. “This is our sound, it’s my story and we’re not trying to copy anybody else. I can see us playing arenas with this album, but I could also see us going under with it. This album does not play it safe.”
He need not fret too much about that though, because nothing great ever really does…
Their album tour will now take place in the Autumn of 2021 with special guests Thousand Below & Captives. All previously purchased tickets will remain valid.
NORMANDIE · Dark & Beautiful Secrets EU/UK Tour 2021
W/ Special guests THOUSAND BELOW, CAPTIVES
08.10.21 Denmark Copenhagen @ Rust
09.10.21 Germany Hamburg @ Headcrash
10.10.21 Czech Republic Prague @ Rock Cafe
11.10.21 Germany Munich @ Feierwerk
13.10.21 Hungary Budapest @ Dürer Kert
14.10.21 Austria Vienna @ Viper Room
15.10.21 Germany Stuttgart @ Club Zentral
16.10.21 Germany Cologne @ Club Volta
17.10.21 Germany Frankfurt @ Das Bett
18.10.21 France Paris @ Backstage By The Mill
20.10.21 UK Bristol @ The Fleece
21.10.21 UK Manchester @ Rebellion
22.10.21 UK Glasgow @ Cathouse
23.10.21 UK Southampton @ The Joiners
24.10.21 UK London @ Powerhaus
25.10.21 UK Birmingham @ Mama Roux’s
27.10.21 Germany Leipzig @ Naumanns
28.10.21 Germany Münster @ Sputnikcafé
29.10.21 The Netherlands Eindhoven @ Dynamo
30.10.21 The Netherlands Haarlem @ Patronaat
31.10.21 Germany Berlin @ Privatclub
Tickets available HERE.