Once upon a time, a little girl named Nanna Fabricius was born on the outskirts of Copenhagen, in a small, warm cottage where music played all night and all day. Her mother, a classically trained opera singer, would say that, as a child, the girl sang before she could talk. “I remember I called our home a farm or circus, even though it wasn’t,” recalls the 25-year-old Fabricius. “We had turtles and rabbits and cats and guinea pigs and birds and chickens,” she continues, describing the fable-like environment of her childhood. “We had sewing machines and instruments and there were always the craziest people coming in and out because my mom was teaching opera or my dad was rehearsing with some musicians or my sister was making clothes.” At the age of 10, Fabricius started to take ballet and eventually moved to Stockholm to study at a prominent dance school. But at 18, a career-ending back injury dashed her childhood dream. Fabricius felt lost. “When I looked in the mirror, I saw a dancer,” she says. “I had to reinvent myself.” After a period of soul-searching, Fabricius soon found herself falling back on the terra firma of music, which was so much a part of her upbringing, and began writing songs and performing under the banner of her dreamy electro-pop project, Oh Land. Fabricius resettled in the decidedly un-mythic land of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, after recording her first album, 2008’s Fauna, which she describes as a “long musical poem.” Her self-titled new album, Oh Land, due next year, is made of what she describes as more individual, fully realized songs—a handful of which appear on her new EP, also self-titled (Epic), out this month. While the compositions came naturally, penning the English verses proved a rewarding challenge. “My criteria was to only write songs I couldn’t live without,” she says. “It felt like a relief, like I could sleep for a whole day after I’d made a song.”
Photos: Oh Land in New York, August 2010. Bra and skirt: Diane Von Furstenberg. Necklaces (throughout): Artist’s own. (right) Bra: 3.1 Phillip Lim. Tights: Falke. Underwear: Wacoal. Cosmetics: Armani, including luminous silk foundation. Fragrance: D by Diane Von Furstenberg. Styling: Andreas Kokkino/Marek & Associates. Hair: Anthony Turner/Art Partner. Makeup: Iitsuki/The Wall Group. Special thanks: Fast Ashleys.