I’m Tyra and I’m the bass player and one of the lead singers in the London based Swedish band Junodef. I’m here to go through the lyric writing process of our new song “Anemone” with you.
I’ve, kind of jokingly, been saying that “Anemone” is a song about lesbian nuns, but that’s only really half true.
The reason behind this very specific theme though, is that I selected most of the words for the song at random from a book I started reading when I was visiting my mum in Gothenburg last November.
That book just so happened to be a book about a young queer woman in the 12th century, who gets sent away to be the prioress in a royal abbey.
I have a very specific process for writing lyrics that I feel really helps me spark creativity and find inspiration and new interesting subjects, cause I think just starting from a blank page can be pretty hard sometimes. What I like to do is take a book that I love (or pick one off my mum’s desk also works apparently), and open it at a random page.
I’ll have a number in my head, usually seven, and I’ll go to that row on the page and select my favourite word from that row, and write it down on a sheet of paper. I’ll then move on to a new random page and do the same thing, and I’ll continue this process over and over again, until I have a sheet full of random words.
I’ll then start putting the puzzle together on a new sheet of paper, which is the really fun and interesting bit I think, because that’s where the lyrics start taking shape and where I can turn them into something that means something to me.
So when piecing together the lyrics for “Anemone”, because of the book I picked, I had a sheet full of words that related largely to desire and longing, desperation and starvation, and God and the devil. Perfect for a queer love song really, and perfect for me, a queer person who falls in love pretty hard and borderline obsessively.
So here’s how the first two lines of the song turned out:
“All of a sudden the devil had enough to eat // On the floor among strange anemones”
And here I’m thinking of “the devil” as two different things:
1. It’s the internalised homophobia that sometimes rears its ugly head (mostly when I fall in love with someone seemingly straight).
2. It’s the toxic trait in me that loves the pain of wanting someone I can’t have.
Moving onto the chorus, it starts off like this:
“Can I just borrow that place // By the right side of her face // Can I stay there // So disliked, desperately // She counts down until she feels”
So the chorus is about longing and wanting to be close to someone. And, I guess, begging for it, and desperately wanting someone to feel the same way.
To sum up: it became a sad love song, cause that’s what I like to write. But also maybe a song about lesbian nuns, or whatever you want it to be really.
Thank you for the space to share my writing process, I hope it can be inspiring to someone in some way, and that you enjoy the song.
Watch the video for “Anemone” below and stream it everywhere else here.