This week, Sea Lion (aka Linn Osterberg) releases her debut album Desolate Stars via Turnstile Records, following 2014's Big Moon EP and the breakthrough release of 'Room' earlier this year.

Written, played, recorded and produced in solitude in Osterberg's bedroom in Gothenburg, Desolate Stars recalls Mazzy Star and Cat Power at their most dreamy, while also establishing a sonic vocabulary all of its own with washes of ambient static and feedback. Osterberg's search for solitary authenticity in her music and methods is admirable, and results in a work that is beautifully ethereal but never lightweight. Needless to say, it's a record you'll want to keep close at hand as the nights draw in.

I quizzed her via email on distortion, Sweden and home recording, among other things.

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Hi Sea Lion. Firstly, congratulations on Desolate Stars - it is wonderful, and all the more remarkable for being made in a bedroom. The album feels very personal and intimate; did you find it easier to record at home?

Thank you so much. Yes, I really did, I don't think there would even be an album if I hadn't made it this way. I get really nervous about being around people when I record and studios really freak me out. Maybe they won't forever but right now I really like being on my own when I do it. I hope I can become an amazing producer sometime - it's nice to practice on your own music so you don't ruin somebody else's!

Desolate Stars is already drawing comparisons with Mazzy Star, Low and Cat Power among others... were these artists an influence? Do you feel comfortable being placed alongside them?

Yes, I love Mazzy Star and Cat Power. They are some of my favourites. I still feel it's a joke when people compare it because I can't stand listening to my own songs, but it's very nice too of course.

I'm also interested in the undercurrent of distortion that runs through the record, particularly on the two instrumental tracks, calling to mind more ambient or noise-based artists... was it important to you to retain that lo-fi, distorted element, especially now that home recordings can be made to sound so polished?

Well, I think the sort of lo-fi thing comes from that I have really cheap equipment. If I get rich one day, I'm sure the sound will change. But I generally like noise, distortions and weird sounds. I have a pretty crazy TV tinnitus too, so I want to make sure it sounds to others like I hear it. It would be awful if I thought it was really distorted and cool because it's fuzzy in my head, but in reality it's super crisp.

Tell me a bit more about Gothenburg; have there been any venues or people who have been particularly encouraging of your work?

Gothenburg is really nice for music, small but everything good comes through, lots of things happening when it comes to art. There have been so many people that have been really encouraging, even when I sucked. For example Woody-Kim who has the club Woody West here, he's the best club person in this town I think. Always puts good stuff on and he always gave me really good support gigs when I had just started out.

Finally, what's up next for you? Will you be touring the album, or recording again straight away?

I'm kind of always recording - most things don't turn into anything but I don't really have another hobby so then I'll just sit around. I have lots of ideas for several different albums, like a synth space album, a rock album, more acoustic things. But I don't know when or how long it will take to put something out again after this. I hope I can do some touring, I think I will. I don't make those plans myself, but somebody else will probably make a good plan for me.


Desolate Stars is out now on Turnstile Records.