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Johan Hansson Liljeberg’s solo project Smiling started late 2018 as a recording project with the cliché purpose of keeping Johan distracted after a breakup. A cassette recorder, a rehearsal space in Malmö and a bunch of emotions became the foundation for the project and Smiling started to take shape.

Nowadays Johan takes help from Arvid Ingvarsson, who is also part of Smiling’s live setup, to record as often as possible. “The purpose is basically to have the project as some kind of diary where I can record stuff based on what I experience or feel as honest as I can”. Johan explains.

The music draws inspiration from alternative rock and indie folk from the 90’s with delicate guitar playing which is perfectly complemented by with Johan’s sincere, fragile vocals and lyrics that doesn’t hide behind production or metaphors. Smiling’s music is unpretentious, tasteful and brilliant, kind of like healthy fast food.

Part of Smiling’s live setup is also Anna Welinder on bass and Philip Lindskog on drums. They’re all based in Malmö while Johan currently is living in Oslo. However, the recording is still a large part of their creative process and Johan often visits Malmö to do a session with Arvid. “We write most of it when we do the recording and then figure out the live setup later” Johan says.

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