Sean Ward had a brief chat with Frøkedal for our latest quick-fire Q&A. Check it out below, and be sure to pick up the Norwegian artist's debut album, Hold On Dreamer, which is out now on the always stellar Propeller Recordings.

How is it to be back in London? I'm sure you've visited many times. Have you played in Islington before?

No I've not played here. I've played The Lexington around three or four times. I really like this place though, I've always loved the area around Angel. Normally when we are in town we have been playing either here or down in Shoreditch.

It's fair to say that you have enjoyed a successful career so far as a part of I Was A King including being nominated for the Norwegian Grammy. Did you feel any pressure to replicate the same calibre of success with your solo releases?

Not really. Actually, not at all. I felt very relaxed going into this solo project, also because I had done a lot of stuff. I have played in jangly electro-pop bands (I Was A King) and big sounding indie bands (Harrys Gym). This time, I just wanted to do something completely different.

S: Was there a moment as such when you decided to pursue music as a soloist or was it a fairly natural decision?

F: I was already planning this project while I was in Harry's Gym, however, the band was taking up so much of my time I never did anything about. At one point I realised this band is not moving forward in a good way anymore so I decided I'll stop doing the band and I'll do this on my own.

After listening to Hold On Dreamer numerous times already, I noticed it has an incredibly honest and personable approach to its songwriting. Was it a conscious decision to have the record feel so reflective of you as a person, not just as an artist?

After being a part of a band like Harry's Gym, part of the process was creating distance between you and the audience. In many ways, in the way we played, I had two huge guitar amps and technical equipment that we just needed before we could start playing. Also, the way I wanted to appear in the band, I wanted to be detached and this spread to the lyrics. I decided when making this album I was done with that. I wanted to be honest for once.

I understand that your first collaborator for this album was Olav Christer Rossebø and I read you decided to use acoustic instruments in order to keep the songs simple. Do you feel he has had a strong influence on the composition of this album?

He is a traditional musician. It's a raw and rougher style than classical; it's more rock & roll. He has influenced the album a lot, we have known each other for years and I have always wanted to play with him but we have always been in different places and different scenes. I didn't have an idea what it would sound like with an electric guitar and violin and I was surprised how good it sounded. His style of playing is one of the most important elements of the albums.

It is clear that performing live is a huge influence on the way you record, do you think you consciously considered the way these songs would have sounded in venues before you went into the studio to record them professionally?

I wasn't able to plan how they would sound as the tracks came to life with an audience. I booked four gigs with no idea of what we were going to do, just to get started. I feel safer on the stage than in the studio as I know how easily you can lose your goal completely. If we do it onstage we will have to have an arrangement, we tried to prepare but with only a couple of weeks, we were scared shitless. We were playing all these new songs and it was a free show so quite a lot of people turned up. I realised from the first show that even though we were nervous, and even though we didn't know the songs well I felt a really nice connection with the audience already.

The themes of the record are fairly sombre including a friend's father suffering from a coma ('The Man Who Isn't There') and the breakdown of a substantial relationship ('Cherry Trees'). Do you find it easier to write through pain rather than joy?

Usually what inspires me most is other people, I don't write songs about nature or scenery. I have always been fascinated how people seem to misinterpret each other. It's so difficult for us to communicate sometimes and that's something I have been thinking a lot about. I'm not a particularly dark person so I have tried to find other perspectives. There are a couple of more cheerful songs (finally) such as 'The Sign' however the way I imagine it is still quite creepy.

Is there a track that you feel exceptionally proud of on this record, one that stands out to you personally as an artist?

I think I'm the happiest with 'The Man Who Isn't Here'. I imagined it to be quite different, I wrote three sets of lyrics and I have never done that before. I write in English but I'm Norwegian. There are limits and if I wrote in my own native tongue I could express myself more easily. I was happy with what the lyrics expressed when combined with the music which is what wasn't working.

'Misery' is a personal favourite of mine, it feels like something that could have sat comfortably on a Stevie Nicks LP in the '80s. What was the inspiration behind that particular track?

F: When I play in Norway we introduce the song as it's quite gloomy so we give it context. It is about how hard it is to live on the West Coast. I wrap it in as a joke but that's what it's about. I'm from the West Coast, and it's where all the tourists go so it is really pretty but also it's raining non-stop and the mountains make it dark. There is a lot of solitude, people being so stubborn and refusing to speak to their neighbours.

On the subject of Stevie, as a soloist you have drawn comparisons to Fleetwood Mac as well as Joni Mitchell. Do you find this complimentary or it is slightly unnerving?

A lot of the time, the comparisons you will get are artists that people enjoy. I purposely try to avoid too many references from our side when releasing the album as I want them to keep an open mind. I'm a fan of Joni Mitchell, however, she isn't one of the main artists that I have listened to myself although I do really like her, so of course it is a huge compliment.

There have been two videos to accompany this album so far that are both equally creepy in their own right. Do you work with the same director or do you enjoy variation when it comes to your accompanying visuals?

I am working with Vibeke Heide, we have the same fascination for people and their stories. She has a lot of that in her films, which I have been making music for so we have collaborated in many ways. We are going to release a new video for 'The Sign' which she has done too.

S: During your time with I Was A King you collaborated notably with Sufjan Stevens, do you have any collaborations planned for Frøkedal as a soloist? And if you could collaborate with anybody, dead or alive on one track who would it be?

There are a lot I would like to collaborate with. I've listened to a lot of '60s British pop people and if you had asked a year ago I would probably have said one of those. I've been really into Brian Eno for a number of years, for both his ambient music and his pop music. Right now it's John Cale and he's still alive so it is possible! I rediscovered 'Paris 1919', I was a long way into making the album so it didn't directly influence this record yet it seemed our ways of doing things were very similar. Some of these songs are really touching so right now it is just my favourite album in the world.

It's notable that recently Scandinavian artists such as Niki + the Dove, Lykke Li, Asgeir, Team Me, Aurora and many others are enjoying huge love in the UK. Have you noticed a shift in attention to countries such as Norway, Sweden and Denmark from British audiences?

Yes, it seems that in the last five years there is more interest. It feels like they see something different in our music which is ironic as we all imagine we are being very British. A lot of the music I like is British. I guess we imagine we are inspired by the same things that people over here are.

This current run of dates here in the UK is fairly small, do you plan to return in the summer for festivals or perhaps another tour later in the year?

We are working with festivals for this summer so hopefully we will be back this year. We would also like to come back for a larger tour at some point, I'm not quite sure when just yet but hopefully this fall. I've learnt how to drive in the UK today so I'm invested. Now we can come back!

Well now you can drive your own tour bus! Finally with your experience, how do British crowds compare to those in Norway?

It's been very different. I've only done two gigs so far in the UK with this project so I don't have an overview yet but in Oslo for example, people are very careful not to express too much. The further out of the city you go the more loose people are, I'm not sure if it's the same here.