"Disko proffers intimate laptop folk, it`s bewitching Swedish language vocals underpinned by rudimentary guitars and Hiorthøy`s delightfully askew electronica” (4/5 David Sheppard, Mojo)
Drivan is a new band by Kim Hiorthøy, consisting of Kim, Lisa Östberg and Louise Peterhoff of Sweden, and Kristiina Viiala of Finland. The group met in Stockholm in the fall of 2007 while working together on a multi-faceted dance piece by choreographer and performance artist Gunilla Heilborn, entitled The Potato Country. The moving, yet humorous performance piece, with music written by Hiorthøy, incorporated dance, spoken word and songs. Upon the completion of its run in Stockholm, Hiorthøy asked Lisa, Louise, and Kristiina if they would be interested in collaborating further.
In early 2008 the group met in Skåne in the south of Sweden, where they worked on initial sketches and tracks in the remote house and studio of Bebbe Risenfors. New songs were written and subsequently recorded in Stockholm during the fall of that year and spring of 2009. Most of the tracks on the finished album, Disko, began their evolution as a Kim Hiorthøy loop, eventually being built upon by all the collaborators. Drivan is a group first and foremost, with everyone cooperating on lyrics and melodies, and although there are flourishes of Hiorthøy’s signature sound, the recordings’ folk-oriented and organic feel has the band drawing more from Swedish folk and prog of the 70s, as well as Stina Nordenstam’s People Are Strange album.
Sung entirely in Swedish, a lot of the songs on Disko revolve around themes of collectivity and the salvation of something through destruction. Although some of the meaning is lost in translation, lyrics like "If you lose your memory, I will lie about everything in your life" and “Everything we did/we'll do it better later” resound as clearly in English as they do in Swedish. The lyrics to the opening track, “Som en Läderlapp”, which can roughly be translated to “Like a piece of leather”, take some inspiration from “Bat Out of Hell” by Meat Loaf. (“Läderlapp” was also the original Swedish name given to Batman when the comic was first published there).
Kim Hiorthøy is based in Oslo and Berlin and operates in many different artistic fields in addition to music. He’s released three albums – Hei in 2000, Melke (a collection of remixes, 7 inches, rarities and unreleased tracks) in 2002, and 2007’s My Last Day, as well as several singles and EPs. As a graphic designer he is responsible for the album artwork of Rune Grammofon and many Smalltown Supersound releases. He’s an artist represented by Standard Oslo (www.standardoslo.no). A monograph of his design work, titled Tree Weekend, was published by Germany's Die Gestalten Verlag in 2001 and a book of photographs is forthcoming on Powershovel Books in Japan. Lisa Östberg, Louise Peterhoff, and Kristiina Viiala all have backgrounds in the performing arts and work in a variety of capacities; Lisa has worked with dance and theatre as well as musical productions such as Chess and Mamma Mia. She also creates her own stage productions, and writes screenplays. Her first feature, The Games We Play is currently being shot in Gotland, Sweden. Louise performed with the renowned Needcompany in Belgium for several years, and is currently touring with one of their productions. In the fall she will appear in A Dream Play by August Strindberg at the Moment Theatre in Stockholm. Kristiina has worked with her own productions in collaboration with artists in both Sweden and Finland. She is currently collaborating with Mattias Fransson of the Swedish comedy group Klungan as well as working with Gunilla Heilborn, the director of The Potato Country, on her new piece.