track by track: snoh aalegra explains her no id-produced mini album

The Swedish singer songwriter explains the unexplainable.

by Hattie Collins
07 April 2016, 2:10pm

Cameron McCool

We've been fans of Snoh Aalegra since we first heard her heart-stopping EP, There Will Be Sunshine. Counting credible collaborators including Common, Cocaine 80s, James Fauntleroy, and No. I.D, we fell hard for Snoh on very first listen. The voice! The lyrics! The beats! The voice!

Describing her latest release Don't Explain as a "mini-album," the 9-track record sees Snoh re-up with songwriting supremo Fauntleroy, and the 'Godfather of Chicago Hip Hop', No. I.D over whose boom bap-based beats  Aalegra soaks her soaring, sumptuous, seventies styled vocals. Also on hand for Don't Explain is Kendrick composer DJ Dahi, chart-topping mega seller Sia, Drake's right hand man Boi-1Da and laydeez favorite John Mayer, who plays guitar on the outstanding "Under The Influence." Describing the album as "cinematic soul", Don't Explain is a delicious listen; haunting and haunted, the half-Persian, half-Nordic 28 year-old delivers 28 minutes of pure, unadulterated vibes. Press play below and allow Snoh to take you though the album, track by track…

1. It's Just A Fever (Intro)

"I love creating little intros and interludes etc., to tie it all together. It's nice to give it a beginning and an ending and to set the tone of what it's about. The line 'What good is warmth If it can't keep you well? -- it's just a Fever' represents incomplete love. It's a moment of reflection."

2. In Your River

Produced by: Christian Rich. Written by: Snoh Aalegra

"When you are so infatuated that you slowly but surely start to disappear from your own life. Your priorities shift and all you want to do is please the person you're in love with."

3. Charleville 9200 (ft. James Fauntleroy)

Produced by: Boi-1da & Frank Dukes. Written by: Snoh Aalegra & James Fauntleroy

"This song is a true story, word by word. I kissed his eyelids and we laid in the grass on the side of the street while people were walking by. It felt like something taken out of a cheesy high school movie in the best way possible. One of my favorite artists and people James Fauntleroy also put his magical touch to the song."

4. Home

Produced by: DJ Dahi. Written by: Snoh Aalegra, Sam Dew

"It's not easy to leave a place you once called home and move across the planet to pursue your dreams. You slowly grow to feel at home with the people you learn to love. Home is such an abstract word, for me it is wherever I have a loved one."

5. Don't Explain

Produced by: DJ Dahi. Written by: Billie Holiday & Arthur Herzog Jr.

"Certain things don't need to be explained, sometimes you just want to enjoy the now and the moment and not think too hard about what's right or wrong because it simply feels right. I recorded this Billie Holiday song because It spoke to me in high volumes."

6. Under The Influence

Produced by: No ID. Written by: Snoh Aalegra & JP Saxe

"To be under the influence of somebody is a dangerous thing, specially when the relationship isn't what it's supposed to be, and everytime you try to do 'the right thing' by leaving, you just end up wanting the person even more. John Mayer heard this song and wanted to play on it, and I was so impressed with how he worked around all the existing elements and gave it new life."

7. Under The Influence Pt II

Produced by: No ID. Written by: Snoh Aalegra & JP Saxe

"The lead guitar on here is John Mayer doing his thing. It's not a guitar solo, it's him vibing to the record and it has a very special magic to it. There was no reason to edit away this amazing outro, I had to keep it the way it was. Enjoy."

8. It's All On Me (Outro)

"Here, the story ends and I contemplate my own decisions. At the end of the day you can't blame your actions on anyone else but yourself. People may hurt you, but they only do because you let them."

9. Chaos

Produced by: No ID. Written by: Sia

"You know how the end credits come after the movies? This kind of represents that in a sonic way. It's not a part of the story fully but a great closer that sums up everything perfectly. I recorded this song three years ago, I'm so happy to share it."

Pre-order Don't Explain here


Track by Track
John Mayer
DJ Dahi
no i.d.
music interview
snoh aalegra