"It's truly a beautiful song and the era which it comes from has inspired and influenced us as a band," Gustav Ejstes says about the classic.
“California Dreamin’ is about escapism, and listening to the song makes you dream of running away, if it's physically or spiritually, it doesn’t matter,” Amason front woman, the exceptionally talented Amanda Bergman, says as she's sitting on a sofa with three cats, in the house her grandmother used to own, and where she has spent most of her childhood summers.
Amason is a so-called super group consisting of one woman and four men who are all parts of other musical constellations (Miike Snow, Dungen, Little Majorette) or have solo careers. When they are recording their cover, 50 years after California Dreamin’ was played for the first time, it’s the heart of winter and they're in Pontus Winnberg's house outside of Mariefred – a small Swedish town roughly an hour from Stockholm, the country's capital and biggest city. Many decades ago Pontus Winnberg's house was a school, then Amanda Bergman's grandmother bought it, and sold it some years ago.
Just like in the song, the sky is grey and the leaves are brown and nothing feels more distant than the laidback lifestyle that is connected to an idealistic dream of California. But the location that the songwriters had dreamt about in the 60s isn't necessarily of importance to the listener. California Dreamin' can be about whatever place you want it to be about.
WHAT PLACE ARE YOU DREAMING ABOUT RIGHT NOW?
“Summer in Sweden, that one week each year. Or anywhere where you feel completely trouble-free,” Amanda Berman says.
"Or at home because we're on tour or away travelling so much," drummer Nils Törnqvist adds.
Covering California Dreamin', or any song that everyone knows or has a relationship to, could perhaps be seen as a difficult task with a high risk of upsetting some devoted fans for making changes to something that's considered perfect in its original form, but according to Amason, music is made for everyone and anyone is free to interpret it in his or her own way.
HOW DO YOU MAKE YOUR OWN MARK ON A SONG LIKE THIS?
"That's very difficult for us to determine. We don't have a set plan of what we want a song to be when we sit down and play it. We play it and make our mark as it goes along," Amanda Bergman says and continues, with the other band members nodding their heads. "We're not surprised that our version of the song is more melancholic than the original since we're all a bit choleric."