When you think of Scandinavian artists, you probably immediately think of big and bold pop songs with Max Martin at the helm. Malin Andersson, however, has taken a different approach. On “How It’s Supposed To Feel,” she delivers a heartfelt vocal on what essentially amounts to being ghosted – and we’ve got the exclusive video premiere!
Andersson wrote and produced the acoustic and intimate track herself, which really puts her lyricism front and center. That choice should come as no surprise, given that the singer-songwriter grew up on artists like Joni Mitchell and loves poets like Karin Boye. Heartbreak is of course a universal, timeless experience – and it’s been described so evocatively by her inspirations on many occasions. It’s why the art of crafting a new song about the same feeling can easily become cliched, but Andersson has somehow managed to deliver a beautiful new take on getting left behind.
Speaking on the track herself, Andersson says: “It’s a moving portrayal of how quickly our emotions can shift from one moment to the next. The song captures the disorientation experienced when someone close to you disappears from your life without a trace, leaving you with only questions & no answers”.
Throughout the entire song, the lyrics indeed weave an intricate story of someone trying to figure out why the relationship ended. “How come you let things fall apart / each time someone tries to open up your heart / you say it’s just you, it’s London / is it not?” Yet later on, the conversation has shifted, and she sings: “You say it’s not you, it’s London / then what am I?” It’s almost poetic, the way in which the song both captures the confusion and lets the listener fill in the blanks themselves as well.
Alex Simpson builds on the same ambiguity in the video with colour to monochrome transitions, all while emphasizing the almost playful undertone that’s hidden in the lyrics. There’s a sense of irony in going from hurt and confusion, to a resigned acceptance that you should’ve seen it coming, to embracing that it’s their loss – not yours. The instrumental bridge consisting of a breezy whistle in the background certainly leans into that final stage. It’s exactly what Simpson and Andersson set out to do: “Rather than portray a sense of heartbreak, we wanted to capture the feeling of someone who’s moved on and is all the better for it.”
Hiding layers of complex emotion in plain sight, packaged up in deceivingly simple and stripped-back melodies is something Andersson has got down to a fine art. With an ambitious sophomore album in the making named Space To Feel, it’s exactly that ability we can’t wait to see more of!
Pre-order vinyl and digital editions of Space To Feel, out April 5th, here on Bandcamp.