Swedish pop singer Ester Ideskog’s latest album as Vanbot, Siberia, has a daring concept behind it: write and record a full length album during a seventeen-day train ride from Moscow to Beijing. Rather than take on the task alone, Ester recruited Johannes Berglund, who has worked with artists like The Knife and Lykke Li, and Petter Winnberg of Amason, and the trio set off on the Trans-Siberian Railway. With track titles like “Not That Kind (Moscow)” and “Hard to Get Used To (Baikal),” you could pull out a map and connect the dots of their journey across the tundra of Russia and Mongolia.
Sonically, there isn’t much that’s bleak or claustrophobic about Siberia, as one might expect given the desolate landscape and cramped living conditions. Instead, the tracks are romantic, airy, and wistful, the way we all can get during long stretches of time crossing vast unknown spaces. Check out two tracks here plus a teaser for an upcoming documentary about the trip. The full album is available now through Ideskog’s own Lisch Recordings and Sony Music Sweden.