General sweeping statement time here on The 405: Even with their reality TV pop idols, Scandinavians manage to somehow do it better. Instances in point: Margaret Berger, Loreen, Darin, Tove Styrke, Måns Zelmerlöw... need we go on? Oh, well, there is, of course, Astrid S, as well.

The 19-year-old came fifth in the 2013 edition of Norway's Pop Idol and, on account of being pretty amazing at personifying what it is to be a pop idol without even winning the actual title, she's managed to garner a lot of critical acclaim and plenty of fans over the past three years.

But she wouldn't have been able to do that without good songs and good songs are indeed what you will find on her recently released eponymous debut EP. There are five of them, in fact, and they are all terrific. Take, for instance, 'Paper Thin', with its glorious chorus or the equally grabbing 'Hurts So Good', which sounds like a Rihanna smash.

We got Astrid to tell us a bit about the extended play and her work on it.


The first song I wrote for the EP was...

'Paper Thin'. I wrote it when I was 16. I didn't write it for an album or EP at that time. I was in Stockholm for the first time and I brought this idea to the studio to see how it would work out. It was written with Robert Habolin and Lauren Dyson.

I chose it as the EP opener because...

It is the oldest song of all 5 on the EP. I hated it at first, maybe because it was so personal to me and that made me feel awkward, I guess. But then it grew on me and we released an acoustic version of it. Then it finally got a full production and became an official single! I love how it's so distinct. I feel like and hope that the song makes people want to continue listening to the other songs on the EP.

If I had to summarise the EP in one sentence, it would be...

'Paper Thin', 'Hurts So Good', 'Jump', 'Atic', 'I Don't Wanna Know'. Kidding! But I think what comes to mind is that I've been working on these songs for so long. 3 years! 3 years ago I was 16. But it feels like 8 years ago. And, to me, the EP summarises the time from 16 to 19. Which feels like forever. I don't know how to formulate this sentence. "It feels like 8 years since I was 16", or something like that.

My favourite parts of the recording process for the EP were...

All of the sessions in the studio! I have so much fun writing with other songwriters and producers. It's great to have a good time, look at funny Youtube videos and have deep conversations about the songs we're writing. I remember writing 'Jump' with Emily Warren and Nick Ruth. We talked about this feeling of wanting to jump off high buildings - even though we would never do it! Just this little thought in the back of our minds. And we talked so much about it... we googled it and found out that there is actually a name for it. Makes me think of that day in LA and them every time I sing the song live.

The song that has evolved the most between its first version and the finished EP version is...

Probably 'Paper Thin' and 'I Don't Wanna Know'. The first demos were just me and a piano. The other songs are very similar to the demo versions.

The song that took the longest to nail down was...

'Atic'! We spent so much time on it for so long. 2 years! I just felt like it was at 80%. We needed the last spark, the last 20%. Now it is a 110% and I'm very happy!

I knew the EP was finished when...

I got an e-mail saying all the mixes and masters were done. Great feeling!

From the five tracks, the one I enjoy performing live the most is...

'Jump'! It's so much fun singing. And the crowd gets really into it! And I get to dance a bit too.

I worked on the video for 'Hurts So Good' with Andreas Öhman and the best part of the shoot was...

Running in the woods, dancing in the studio, lunch breaks in the sun. I enjoyed every bit of it. And he was amazing to work with. I'm definitely going to work with him more.

The EP, Astrid S, is out now on Universal.