Date: 15 May 2018
Originally published in: Norra Skåne (Sweden)
Written by: Peter Eliasson
Popstars, unlike the rock’s counterparts, get too rarely a career that lasts for a long time. When the hit singles begin to fade, everything is usually sealed. But there are stars like Kim Wilde. For almost forty years, she has kept her headband alive. Now she is up to date with the album Here Come the Aliens that came out in March.
To claim that British singer is bigger than her songs is therefore no exaggeration. But when she releases her first album with her own material in seven years it’s obvious that her intention was to do significantly more than just mark her presence. Unless otherwise, the positive criticism of the home has been a proof of virtually anything on this.
“Yes, because everyone says it’s a good album, well,” she said by telephone from rural Hertfordshire. It’s a nice feeling that critics feel the same energy as I am, it feels exciting that we who worked on this album might have encountered a golden vein.
Here Come the Aliens is the title of the album, which, according to Kim, is inspired by a real event in 2009 when she saw a craft out of this world for a short while standing still in the air over her own rooftops.
From this experience, it eventually became a clumsy album title and a cover embossed by American pulpstetics. However, the lyrics have nothing to do with aliens. On the other hand, singer’s partners come from abroad. The Swedes Fredrik Thomander and Anders Wikström, from the eighties band Treat, figure out as songwriter on the record together with Kim’s brother Ricky and his daughter Scarlett.
“We love to write with those guys in Stockholm. It is a place with so many beautiful vibes, Sweden is the pop’s homeland. It’s really inspiring.
How would you like to describe this disc?
“The sound is hardly millions of miles away from 1981. It hurts back to what I did then, but it sounds a lot more contemporary. Perhaps you could say that this is reminiscent of the past in a very fresh way.
The past, in turn, flows naturally through Kim’s constant colleague, brother Ricky. Then now he is by her side both as a producer and songwriter.
The singer says he loves to work with him, and not least because they both are looking for the same things, and know how to keep the energy at a high level.
The difference to the past, however, is that Kim himself is much more involved in the creative process today than when it started.
“When I started, I was far too busy to be a star of pop, there was no time to develop. It was not until the third album I started doing something myself, but the new one contains some of the best I’ve written in fifteen years.
It is noticeable to Kim that she is hungry again. Pop is not a bad word anymore, she believes and promises without getting a lot of touring with Lord Come the Aliens.
Then it was not in the mid-nineties. First, her R & B-influenced album, Now & Forever, flopped. Then a semi-finished sequel was placed on the shelf in the wake of a tangled record mix. In between, Kim played in The Whos rockmusical Tommy in London, and then Amor’s arrows met her in the form of opponent Hal Fowler. The couple fell fast and fast for each other, and soon they were a family. No wonder the pop career was put on the shelf in that position.
“No, it takes time to live family life. But that was probably the best thing that happened to me. We married two months after we met. Then I became interested in horticulture, which was at least as inspiring before mankind knocked on. So for a while it was very refreshing to discover myself as mom, person and gardener.”
During this crank you did not release a new album in eleven years, but now you have come back seriously. What would you like to say that the music means to you today?
“You know the music was my first love, and never forget. I grew up with it, it’s an old friend. When I started singing, I felt full, and now the music has given me challenges again. So I will last for a while. I work with a lot of amazing people, and myself is a big part of it all. It is very inspiring with so much creativity.”
At the same time, it was the eighties and early nineties that were your hottest period. How was it really?
“Being twenty and pop star is really good and fun, but I would not like to start today. Though I can feel I can enjoy it more now. Since I worked so much in the beginning, I can harvest the fruits today. It’s fun to be Kim Wilde again. At the same time, the pop star gear was not the reason I started with this. It was a part of the package, and when I was not there anymore, I jumped off. I was bored, and no one likes a bored pop star.”
But today are you far from bored?
“Yes, I know what I’m doing now. It feels like I can stand on stage and know I can deliver. Then I have a top band that backs me. You know, pop stars take full honor, but they’re just the top of the iceberg.”