Lovely and troubled at the same time you can say that Lena Anderssen is a mysterious hybrid of north meets west. With roots on both sides of the world, and a suitcase full of journeys and stories, this Faroese-Canadian songbird has gone from singing to pass the time as she worked in a coffee shop in the Faroe Islands to recording at London's Abbey Road studio and playing for Scandinavian Royalty. "With vocals that dance between sweet highs and sultry lows over tender, wistful pop melodies, it's not hard to see why." - Paste Magazine (US).
As a live performer Lena is known for her intense and intimate delivery of personal poetry and catchy pop songs that leave you with no doubt that this singer songwriter is the real deal. Having toured as support for acts like Roxy Music (UK), Beth Hart (US) and Xavier Rudd (AUS), Lena Anderssen is gaining new ground outside of the Faroe Islands too. In a glowing review of her 2008 release in Europe of Let Your Scars Dance – voted as “Album Of The Year” on two occasions on the Faroe Islands – Belgian Magazine Rootstime compares Lena Anderssen to contemporary artists like Tift Merritt and KT Tunstall while music critic Jan Janssen at Real Roots Cafe has compared Lena to vintage artists like Joni Mitchell and Patti Smith.
In North America, William Michael Smith of the Houston Press is putting it this way: "If you're one of those cynics who doesn't take a man's word for something, give a listen to the six tracks on her MySpace site and tell me you're too cool or too punk or too country or too post-pop-post-industrialist-deconstructionist-garage-rock-indie to embrace this."
Many seem to agree. Amongst those is the largest independent music awards Just Plain Folks, who in 2009 chose Lena as “Female Vocalist Of The Year”. Lena has recently also had songs featured in TV series like Felicity, Scrubs, Nikita and Miami Social. And with her brand new release “Letters From The Faroes” – released on the Faroes in November 2011 and Lena once again being honored to have "Album Of The Year" in her native Faroe Islands – the Canadian-Faroese songstress goes straight for the heart with a personal album – a postcard voyage filled with stories of longing, regrets, paranoia, dreams, heartache and hope.
For Lena it’s always been about communicating her story in a simple and unpretentious way with no regard to what’s hip this week.
“I love the fact that I make pop music built on classic foundations at the same time as I’m as indie as you can get. I’m really not interested in joining anyone’s ride just to get recognition. This is my trip, I’m the captain and if you want to come along I’ll say – welcome onboard.”
Lena Anderssen - the mysterious hybrid of North meets West. With roots on both sides of the world, and a suitcase full of journeys and stories to tell, this Faroese-Canadian songbird has found a place to stand. Music is her solid ground. Her songs are her home. Exploring the world of melodic, singer songwriter pop, Lena's warm, evocative voice and strong songs reflect both sides of her story. The girl from the stormy Faroe Islands moved to Canada with her family and spent most of her childhood and adolescent years there. It wasn't until she returned to the Faroes that Lena discovered the magic of songwriting. Working late one night at a local cafe, Lena was overheard while singing to herself. Norwegian drummer Remi Fagereng had been listening as the faraway Faroe girl was blissfully singing her own midnight version of "Roxanne". Remi introduced her to his cover band and soon had Lena gigging across Scandinavia.
In 1998 Lena Anderssen teamed up with composer/producer Niclas Johannesen and the two of them started writing together. "Long Distance" was the first harvest of their songwriting collaboration and was released the same year in the Faroe Islands. "Long Distance" resonated well outside of the Faroes and soon Lena was working on various songs with Danish Grammy Award-winning producer, Oli Poulsen.
The Album "Can't Erase It", produced by Oli Poulsen, was released in Denmark in the fall of 2005 through a licensing deal with Danish record label ArtPeople. The opening track "Step On The Gas" recieved massive airplay as did the follow up single "Can't Erase It". The album was chosen "Album of the Week" on Danish National radio station P4.
Following the release of the album Lena did a support tour for American singer Beth Hart and was also asked to open for legendary English band Roxy Music when they visited Denmark in June 2005. On the other side of the Atlantic people began to take notice as American Music Magazine Paste chose to feature Lena as one of ten other European artists on Coca-Cola's website with her song "Can't Erase It". The title track also landed a spot on NBC's television comedy series "Scrubs".
Bursting with new songs just waiting to hit the studio, Lena once again joined forces with co-writer Niclas Johannesen, asking him to produce the album. With co-producing and mixing from Oli Poulsen as well, a masterfully woven ten-track album called "Let Your Scars Dance" was the result. The album, which was also recorded at the famous Abbey Road Studio 2 (including a live performance of "Stones In My Pocket") came out in May 2007. The album has recieved extensive airplay and rave reviews in the Faroes where it has initially been released.
In September 2007, Lena embarked on a support tour for Australian artist Xavier Rudd, covering 19 major European cities and winning over the crowds with her intense, moving performances and great songs.
[Biography updated: November 2007]