Swedish singer-songwriter Alexandra Jardvall feels a strong connection to Asbury Park

alexandra jardvall interview


Swedish singer-songwriter Alexandra Jardvall at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park.

Swedish singer-songwriter Alexandra Jardvall made her Asbury Park debut in September, performing at an Endometriosis Foundation of America benefit presented by the Springsteen fan organization, Spring-Nuts, at Asbury Lanes.

As she walked there, she said in a March 28 Zoom call from her home in Norrköping, Sweden, “I saw my name up there on the side (of the building). It said, like, ‘Spring-Nuts Presents Alexandra Jardvall.’ My legs couldn’t hold me up. The only thing I could think was, ‘Where’s my mom and dad? They should be here, seeing this.’

“I get goosebumps now. That’s been a dream since ’84. I was 10 years old in ’84. And I told my dad … when he showed me ‘Dancing in the Dark’ for the first time, I said, like, ‘Okay, who is this guy, Springsteen? Tell me about him.’ And he talked about Asbury Park. And I said, like, ‘When I grow up, I’m going to play there.’ So walking in Asbury Park, with all of that history, and seeing the sign, I was like, ‘Okay, I can die now. And I’m going to die with a smile, because I’m so happy.’ ”



Jardvall will perform in Asbury Park again, this weekend: She has a show booked at Transparent Clinch Gallery, April 21. And on April 24 (the day after her 50th birthday), she is planning to attend the American Music Honors show at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, at which John Mellencamp, Jackson Browne, Mavis Staples and Dion will be honored by Springsteen and others.

In addition to performing her own songs, Jardvall, who grew up in Stockholm, has developed a strong connection to Springsteen fans with her covers of The Boss’ songs. Two of her covers (“There Goes My Miracle” and “My Beautiful Reward”) were featured on NJArts.net’s “Springsteen Covered by Women” series in 2021. And her most recent release (listen below) is a cover of Springsteen’s Asbury Park-inspired “My City of Ruins,” with a version of one of Springsteen’s signature songs, “Dancing in the Dark,” planned as her next release.

“I don’t think I would be into Springsteen if it weren’t for my dad,” she says. “My dad introduced (me to) Springsteen in ’84. My mom didn’t listen to Springsteen at all. But Dad introduced me to Elvis Presley and Bruce Springsteen, so that got me started. And then me and my dad went to Springsteen concerts together. It was like our common thing. But then my dad passed away in 2008. So I had to continue on my own.

“From that moment on, it just progressed. I became, like, too much of a fan. (laughs) But it’s been good. It’s like, girls, when I grew up listening to music, singing all the time, I never sang, like, Whitney Houston or Mariah Carey, or stuff like that. I sort of got my ID from that: Because I didn’t try to sound like Mariah Carey, like everyone else. And I didn’t try to sound like Springsteen. So I had to find a middle way.”

She says when she studied music in high school, “I wasn’t allowed to love Springsteen, because you were supposed to like jazz, fusion or classical music, and everything else was not okay. That was not music. So I was fighting for Bruce. So I have sort of a fighting spirit when it comes to Bruce. It’s like, every time I meet someone who says, ‘Oh, I don’t like Bruce, I hate him, I don’t understand anything,’ I want to win them over. ‘You’ve just decided that you don’t like him. You don’t listen. Open your ears and just listen to what he has to say.’

“When I started doing his songs, I realized that even the Bruce haters come to me and say, ‘Oh, so that’s a Bruce song. It’s really good.’ And I’m, like, ‘I told ya!’ ”


Alexandra Jardvall at The Carousel Building in Asbury Park.

The music appeals to her, she says, “because of the melodies, of course. The storytelling is unbelievable. I’ve never experienced that with any other artists, in that way: that you can read the songs as a novel. I love the way he always … it’s the same people. It’s like he has a bag of people. ‘Okay, this time it’s Johnny’s turn to be in this song.’ Or, ‘Okay, Mary’s going to be in this song.’ It’s like, we know the people now.”

Is it unusual for a Swedish person to be so into Springsteen? “Springsteen is very big in Sweden,” she says. “Every time he comes here, it’s always a big issue that he’s here, and (the shows are) always full. But I don’t know many intense Springsteen fans. I know some. But those I’ve met more through the Spring-Nuts than here, at home.”

When she came to Asbury Park in September, the first thing she did was to take a tour of Springsteen-related sites with her friend, Springsteen expert Stan Goldstein, who conducts these tours regularly (for information, visit njrockmap.com). “It was like, wow, and wow, and wow and wow,” she says. And in her brief time in the city, she was surprised that so many people she met knew who she was. Many had heard her music online, particularly through the “Live at Home” shows she streamed during the pandemic.

“People were like, ‘Girl, you saved us during the pandemic.’ I was like, ‘What? … Okay, but you did the same to me.’ Because it was terrible during the pandemic. If it weren’t for the livestreams, I don’t know what I would have done.”


Alexandra Jardvall at the corner of 10th Avenue and E Street in Belmar.

She says Goldstein help inspired her to start covering Springsteen songs, and that NJArts.net’s inclusion of her on “Springsteen Covered by Women” also encouraged her to keep going in that direction.

“Then I did all the livestreams for the Springsteen fans, and they liked it, and I was like, ‘Really?’ And then Stan said about ‘There Goes My Miracle,’ ‘You’ve got to put it out’ (as an official single). ‘You need to put it so people can hear it.’ And I was like, ‘Really?’ So all of those, together, made me realize that maybe I can do it, and people will not hate me for doing it (laughs). Sometimes you don’t want to touch it, because it’s his songs, and his stories. I don’t like when people destroy his songs. But if I can do this and even Springsteen fans say, ‘Okay, it’s good,’ maybe I can get away with it.”

Later this year — on Sat., Sept. 21, two days before Springsteen turns 75 — she will present a Springsteen celebration titled “Greetings From Sweden” at the Louis de Geer concert hall in Norrköping.

“It’s a big thing for me,” she says. “I’ve never done anything like it. I’m going to do it with a band — like, really, really nice, great musicians. And I’m going to tell my story, and the story with me and Springsteen. I’m going to show pictures, I’m going to show movies, I’m going to talk. And I’m going to do Springsteen songs.”

Earlier in September, she will be back in Asbury Park, with plans to attend the Sept. 14-15 Sea.Hear.Now festival as well as the Live/Stone Temple Pilots concert at The PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, on Sept. 6.

“Live was a big band for me,” she says. “I’ve never seen them live. So that’s going to be fun. I usually just listen to Elvis or Springsteen. But Live is also a band that I’ve been listening to a lot. Otherwise I like Tom Petty. I like Willie Nelson. Eric Clapton, Emmylou Harris. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Bob Dylan.

“My mom was a Beach Boys fan, so I listen to Beach Boys, too, and I got to see them in September (2023), at Sea.Hear.Now. I was like, ‘Mom is here,’ because I was watching that band.”

Jardvall will perform with Arielle Silver at The Transparent Clinch Gallery in Asbury Park, April 21 at 4 p.m.; visit transparentclinchgallery.com.

For more information on Jardvall, visit alexandra-music.com.

Here are her covers of Springsteen’s “My City of Ruins” and “There Goes My Miracle,” as well as one of her own songs, “Hang On (Tooth and Nail).”


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