From Stockholm, Sweden, singer-songwriter and contemporary recording artist Matilda Lindell bless us with a modern rendition of ABBA's hit, "The Name of the Game," from her recent cover album, ABBA Uncovered.
The Sweden-born artist started touring the United States at 26 as a principal member of the tribute act ABBA The Concert. She's graced stages like The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles and Wolf Trap Performing Arts Centre just outside of Washington D.C.
Lindell's time with the ABBA tribute band sparked a desire to create a more personal project based on classic songs that have had a major impact on her life and career. The recent 5-track EP, ABBA Uncovered, features a handful of some of ABBA's greatest hits, like the wide-eyed and passionate tune "The Name of the Game."
Matilda Lindell's rendition of this classic hit is refreshing. The experience opens with a more fragile version of the melodic instrumentals through her lush piano melodies and emotion-drenched background strings that haunt the listener's speakers.
As Matilda Lindell makes her breathtaking and fragile vocal appearance, she shifts this classic hit into a vulnerable and chilling ballad that helps us get to know her artistic ways that much more. She has no problem demanding the listener's attention with her heavenly vocals that chill the spine with stunning melodies backed by ABBA's lyrics that we can't help but sing along with.
A refreshing listening experience isn't far out of reach when Matilda Lindell enters the picture. We invite you to experience her heartfelt rendition of ABBA's "The Name of the Game," along with four other classic hits on her recent EP, ABBA Uncovered. Find the single and EP on all digital streaming platforms.
Welcome to BuzzMusic, Matilda Lindell. What led you to create an entire EP of ABBA covers with ABBA Uncovered? How long was this project in the making?
I've been a part of an ABBA tribute touring the US for over a decade, so these songs have become important to me. I'm Swedish, so ABBA is also just a part of our culture, so their music runs in my blood. But the idea to rearrange some of my favorites from ABBA's epic tracks came about when I had writer's block, and it was hard to find inspiration for my own music. I guess the pressure that comes with being an artist and songwriter just held me back for some reason. So I thought I'd try to find my creativity again by rearranging and making something very personal from these songs that I love and that are a big part of me. I arranged and recorded the songs in 2019 and released the first single in early 2020, but then I got a bit sidetracked by the pandemic, as many of us were. Now the EP is finally out in the world!
What vision did you have in mind for your cover of ABBA's hit, "The Name of the Game?" Why did you choose to take a more intimate and emotional piano-based route?
I wanted to "uncover" the songs, strip them down, and let the melodies and lyrics live within a new emotional landscape, so to speak. I have sung these songs so many times, and it's like I've been peeling off layer by layer, getting deeper into the songs. For "The Name of the Game," I wanted to repurpose that well-known baseline in some way but paint a different picture, so I got inspired by the Swedish folklore style to get some Scandinavian heavy-heartedness in there. Or, I guess, even more than it already had. For the whole EP, I chose to have only one voice backed up by strings and, in this case, also piano. I love how "The Name of the Game" ended up having jazzy folklore influences with a gospel feel and then the orchestral strings on top of that to add some drama!
What does "The Name of the Game" by ABBA mean to you? How did this original song impact you, and why did you choose to cover it?
ABBA's lyrics are often so to the point and intimate. In "The Name of the Game," I find the toggle back and forth between the hesitation and hope so real, feelings most of us are very familiar with trying to find love. And there are so many parts in this song that enhance the story, and I thought it would be interesting to rearrange. And it was!
Which other songs from your ABBA Uncovered EP are you most proud of? Which song was your favorite to record? Can I say all of them?
They all are special in different ways! But I am very proud of Dancing Queen. I definitely changed it a lot from the original version. My intention was to turn the happy disco tune about a young girl's night out into a celebration for women, bringing encouragement and hope! I wanted to show a vulnerable and honest view of women’s lives. We need to believe in ourselves and support each other, and my message in my rendition is to promote female empowerment.
What's next for you?
I am continuing the tours with "The Concert - a tribute to ABBA", we recently performed at the Hollywood Bowl in LA! So fun. And these songs are just getting deeper into my heart as we go. I also have a few solo shows with "ABBA Uncovered" coming up. And I am so ready to write and record more of my own music! Rearranging these songs did help to bring the creativity back, and the support from my wonderful fans are also very encouraging I think it won't take too long for the next release to happen!