• David Bentley

Johanna Brun – Bird (single)


Not a new song, but one which demands attention.


I’ve waited quite a while for an opportunity to feature Johanna Brun, from Strängnäs, to the west of Stockholm. She is one of several artists that I saw performing at a small, select festival in Sweden a few years ago who stuck in my mind. She performed on the opening night, as an 18-year old then I think, and pretty well stole the show.


I honestly thought that by now she would be a well-known name and not only in Sweden, but she has been held back, partly by a debilitating illness which afflicts her periodically and partly by a couple of catastrophic events which affected a musical show that she had partly written and which was to have toured Sweden last year. The day before it opened the main actor, an acrobat, had a serious accident and was unable to perform. The show run was cancelled and rescheduled for this spring and we know what happened then.


Undaunted, Johanna carries on and recorded a session of her own last week, with the theme ‘20 shades of culture’. This song, taken from it, ‘Bird’, is one she played at the festival I mentioned and I think that I’m right in saying that apart from a couple of videos from TV talent shows four or five years ago this is the only live recording of it that you can find online.


‘Bird ’ is a personal statement against childhood bullying. It’s fascinating to see how the song has evolved over the years from a much rawer but also emotional version into this more sophisticated and restrained one, which I suspect has something to do with turning 21, and marriage.


If I remember, another song, which was released in Sweden last year, ‘Ur Funktion’ (Out of Order in English and which makes reference to her condition) is lined up for an English version and release here, eventually.


But for now, just fly away with the little bird. As she says herself on Facebook, “the song Bird has been hanging out for a while, but damn what it means a lot to me!”


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