Erika Angell

 Photographic artist: Tim Georgeson



The Obsession With Her Voice

The Montréal-based Swedish vocalist and composer Erika Angell defies categorization. Across sixteen independently produced albums and innumerable collaborations, Angell has been a poetic and audacious force in genre-defying music. Through primary writing/performing projects like Thus Owls, Josef & Erika, The Moth and Beatings Are In The Body, her voice has been described as “a guiding presence” (Exclaim) that “splits the difference between the divine and demonic, skillfully unhinged” (Under The Radar) and “sits alongside the greatest indie female artists who are not afraid of anything” (Le Devoir). Her debut solo album of unfettered vocal exploration and expressionist avant-electronic composition is slated for release on Constellation in early 2024.

Raised on an island on the west coast of Sweden, Angell’s musical trajectory began in earnest when she moved to Stockholm in 2004 and became a member of noted collective label and venue Fylkingen (the oldest organization in Europe for experimental music and art, founded in 1933). Relocating to Montréal in 2012, her career now spans two decades, characterized by a fearless pursuit of originality, an inexhaustible desire to traverse genres, and a dedication to artistic collaboration. Angell melds musical territories from classical, folk, rock and pop to jazz, electronic, free-improvised and avant-garde. She is known foremost for her unconventional artistry with the celebrated and Polaris-nominated avant-rock band Thus Owls, which she has co-led with her husband Simon Angell since 2007. Earlier ensembles include the Swedish vocal-bass duo Josef & Erika and the electronic noise group The Moth. More recently she has co-founded New Music trio Beatings Are in the Body with Róisín Adams and Peggy Lee. Erika Angell formed her first groups Josef & Erika (with Josef Kallerdahl) and The Moth (with Martin Öhman) in the early 2000’s, establishing her as one of Sweden's most innovative new voices on the jazz and experimental music scene.

Josef & Erika released four albums, Wallpaper Stories (2005), Small, small, small, small sounds (2007), Floods (2011) and Short Cuts/Highways (2015), and toured throughout Sweden, Norway, Germany, France, Portugal, UK and the US, including appearances at Jazzfest Berlin (GER), Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival (UK), Umeå Jazzfestival (SE) and APAP (US). Concurrently, her post-industrial electronic duo The Moth released two full-length albums of free improvised and electronically processed music, Antennae (2007) and Mammoth (2013), with tours in Sweden and North America at experimental venues and festivals like Eclectic Electric (CA), Ottawa Blues Festival, (CA), Norbergfestivalen (SE) and Issue Project Room (US).

In Stockholm she started composing and performing music with the quartet that would become Thus Owls, which grew to be Angell’s main artistic and creative outlet following her move to Canada. Known for its powerful and ever-changing live performances, often in collaboration with different invited guest artists, Thus Owls has released five full-length albums and one EP, Cardiac Malformations (2009), Harbours (2013), Turning Rocks (2014), Black Matter (2015), The Mountain That We Live Upon (2018) and Who Would Hold You If The Sky Betrayed Us? (2022) on Secret City Records and on Angell’s own imprint For The Living And The Dead. Thus Owls has toured extensively throughout Europe and North America, with notable performances at La Route du Rock (FR), Le Guess Who (NL), The Great Escape (UK), Iceland Airwaves (IS), SXSW (US), Stockholms Jazzfestival (SE), Festival International de Jazz de Montreal  (CA) and Vancouver Jazz festival (CA), and sharing stages with artists like St. Vincent, José Gonzales, Little Dragon, Deerhoof, The Antlers and My Brightest Diamond.

Thus Owls also created a string of interdisciplinary and interactive performance works, presented in Canada and internationally by Pop Montreal (CA), The Phi Centre (CA), Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (CA), Suoni Per Il Popolo (CA), Théâtre La Chapelle (NL), Kytopia (NL) and Bubblan (SE) and scored several films: The Sea Between Us by Marlene Edoyan, Pacific Bell by Sandrine Béchade, and Woman In Car by Vanya Rose, which received a Canadian Screen Award nomination for Best Original Song. Angell’s recorded works have also been nominated for awards including the Polaris Music Prize, ADISQ, GAMIQ and the Swedish Grammis. 

Angell counts neo-classical composer Daníel Bjarnason (Ben Frost, Sigur Ros), Liam O’Neill (SUUNS), Karl Lemieux (Godspeed You! Black Emperor), Jason Sharp (Constellation Records), Lisen Rylander Löve (Midaircondo), Lina Nyberg, Anders Jormin (Bobo Stenson Trio) and Gustaf Karlöf (Niki and the Dove) among her many collaborators. Her voice has graced recordings and live performances by Loney Dear, Patrick Watson, Leonard Cohen, Kim Myhr, Arve Henriksen (Supersilent), Land Of Kush, Wildbirds and Peacedrums, The Besnard Lakes and La Force among others. The move to Montréal opened up a new world of musical opportunities for Erika, working with many artists in that city’s famously thriving and flourishing scene. For years she recorded and performed as a featured vocalist with Patrick Watson and has been notable for straddling both the francophone and anglophone scenes in Québec, working with Marie-Pierre Arthur, Louis-Jean Cormier, Michael Feuerstack, Little Scream, Antoine Corriveau and Remi-Jean Leblanc.

Angell’s music has been released on HOOB (Josef & Erika, Thus Owls), SEKT (The Moth), IRMA (eRika), Caprice (Josef & Erika) and Secret City (Thus Owls), her own label For The Living And The Dead (Thus Owls, Beatings Are in the Body), and on ECM as part of renowned bass player Anders Jormin’s band Ad Lucem. In 2023 she was signed to Montréal-based avant/experimental label Constellation for her solo debut The Obsession With Her Voice.


Live Dates 

14 Jun 2024 • Halifax, NS • Everyseeker Festival

17 Jun 2024 • Montréal, QC • La Sala Rossa (Suoni Per Il Popolo Festival, with Sarah Rossy, Kahero:ton)

27 Sep 2024 • Montréal, QC • La Sotterenea (POP Montréal, with YHWH Nailgun, distraction4ever, NPNP Trio)

08 Nov 2024 • Utrecht, NL • Le Guess Who? Festival  


Artist Photos

For high-resolution downloads, click here


Contacts & Links

Erika Angell website
Erika Angell Instagram

Amélie Malissard at act·art·mgt 

Press enquiries UK:
Lauren Barley at Rarely Unable

Press enquiries EU:
Ed Benndorf at Dense Promotion