Lose yourself in the new single from Tobias Arbo. ‘Within’ is a truly atmospheric song, in which Arbo’s dreamily melancholic voice floats above complex sonic layers. There’s a graceful beauty to this delicate performance. Told through the eyes of his younger sister, the heartfelt words about the siblings’ journey from childhood to adulthood have a real emotional impact. The language is often disarmingly direct: “What’s the deal with you my brother // Why do you look all sad…I remember Sunday mornings // When you practiced for your gigs // Used to find you so annoying // Now I just miss us being kids // I can still see that first darkness // The indifference spreading in your eyes…Did you get my text last Wednesday? // I thought we’d head down to the beach // Can you at least come home for dinner some time soon?” A sense of deep sadness, regret and, even, desperation in the current situation elevate this above memory and nostalgia although reaching into the past is central to the song and this is reinforced by the home-video footage in the well-edited video.
Arbo says of the song and video: “A couple of years ago, I found a box of video cassettes that my dad had recorded throughout my childhood. I went and had them digitalised. Seeing myself as a child made me feel such strong empathy for that person – I wanted him to do well, be happy – which illuminated my struggle to feel the same for the adult that I am now. But as I kept watching this child, who was me and therefore still exists somewhere within me, it made me experience a sense of sympathy and well-intent opening up towards my adult self that was new to me. This song is about processing that time in my life, while also wanting to illustrate how we as grown ups tend to forget and belittle the emotional complexity of children, including the baggage that we carry with us from childhood to adulthood.”
‘Within’ is taken from Arbo’s forthcoming EP ‘Powerlines’, which is due on 31st March. The Swedish songwriter has worked with highly-regraded collaborators to put the EP together, including producer Zach Hanson (Bon Iver, Waxahatchee), reflecting the inspiration he finds in the ethereal folk of the likes of Bon Iver. There’s much to be absorbed by here – take a look and then check out the EP on release.
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