Flaunt Exclusive | ionnalee LP to feature Zola Jesus, Röyksopp and Jennie Abrahamson

by Drew Penner

Photo by  John Strandh

Photo by John Strandh

Fresh off her nationally-televised tribute performance of Avicii's “I Could Be the One” in January with Stockholm-based Menke, ionnalee, a quirky Scandinavian with a penchant for intriguing pop, has shared tantalizing details of her upcoming sophomore album with Flaunt.

The Swedish songstress, aka Jonna Lee, has revealed her upcoming release, REMEMBER THE FUTURE, will drop May 31, on her own label To whom it may concern. It will feature collabs with Zola Jesus, Röyksopp and Jennie Abrahamson.

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Lee is producing the record, which showcases her lush vocals textured with an awareness of darkness, akin to light bleeding through a deep northern wood.

“It’s a hopeful visionary story of daring to dream, and shooting for the stars, despite the paradoxical underlying chafing dystopia that we are destroying our planet,” she says in a release. “To me, the album has a kinetic energy.” Longtime iamamiwhoami bandmate Claes Björklund pitched in on the effort, which is being mixed by Johannes Berglund (Fever Ray).

Photo by  John Strandh

Photo by John Strandh

This will be welcome news for fans of creative electro-pop duo Röyksopp, which already pronounced its swan song with The Inevitable End back in 2014 (ending with the searing 12th track, the love letter, “Thank You”). But then, three weeks ago, the world started to get the fruits of that Norwegian group’s arctic chateau renovation. Supposedly they discovered a sea chest with an assortment of unreleased tracks, which they began to drib-drab out to the universe.

Lee, too, is one of the under-appreciated gems from the Röyksopp universe. She actually toured with them from 2015 to 2017. Her music proceeds with the same cosmic warmth, as a nearly a melodic trance oeuvre, that lingers in sonorous pop territory.

ionnalee’s initial single, Open Sea, is a case in point. It’s a song that doesn’t mince analogue warmth. And the lyrics are a bittersweet release. “There’s the careless knot i knew wouldn’t hold / pulled you out to open sea,” she sings. “Now i watch it all slip away, slip away / with my hands untied as the sky bleed red.” Fans of Robyn will no doubt find commonalities in Lee’s delivery. But there’s plenty unique, too.

The closest comparison is with her first solo album and feature film, EVERYONE AFRAID TO BE FORGOTTEN. That came out in 2018 resulted in a world tour.

This time she’ll be touring the world with Allie X and TR/ST.

Expect a mysterious explosion of sound that carries the legacy of simmering euro-disco simmering in the background, obscured by decaying organic foliage sporting the first signs of spring flowers.