Premiere: Eden Iris’ Bittersweet Ode to Loneliness “Birthday Baby”

Eden Iris © Jes Harlen
Singer/songwriter Eden Iris captures the melancholia and disconnect of estrangement in “Birthday Baby,” a heartfelt and sobering slow-burning ballad.
Stream: “Birthday Baby” – Eden Iris

Life is really sad sometimes, and estrangement lies toward the top of that list. Sometimes fights don’t end; instead, things get so bad that two people stop talking entirely, and a fight remains in perpetuity – ebbing and flowing like the tides, but nonetheless remaining a point of contention so hot for those in the metaphorical “ring,” that they rid themselves of one another entirely. New Zealand singer/songwriter Eden Iris captures the melancholia and disconnect of estrangement in “Birthday Baby,” a heartfelt and sobering slow-burning ballad.

Birthday Baby - Eden Iris

Birthday Baby – Eden Iris

These days I keep my phone beside me
You leave your spine at the door
Someone’s sleeping in the bathtub
The pictures from our fridge stay on the floor
Summertime, but not like the first time
What would you say if you could talk
It’s my birthday baby,
so look at me now
like the way that you did before

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Birthday Baby,” Eden Iris’ second single and first original song release of 2019 (independently out October 11, 2019). An award-winning artist from Auckland, New Zealand currently based in Los Angeles, Eden Iris describes herself as a “writer in a new space,” having debuted in 2016 and catching a break with her 2017 single “Dancing with a Ghost.” “Birthday Baby” is Iris’ proper single return following late 2018’s debut EP Demons (released via Western Front Music). The artist sings from a dark, pained perspective as she laments the brokenness of such an emphatic disconnect as estrangement.

A largely stripped-down performance, “Birthday Baby” utilizes the nakedness of a raw electric guitar alongside Iris’ voice to evoke a deep sense of vulnerability and intimacy. The song carefully builds to a rich crescendo of sound in the form of a massive guitar solo, but even at its highest high, there is no freedom from the heavy weight of loss: The results of this burden appear everlasting as Iris and her band draw emotion out from their respective musical instruments.

I’ll be waiting
waiting in between these walls
I’ll be waiting
Until it cannot wait anymore

“I wrote “Birthday Baby” with kiwi songstress Emily Edrosa in a jam-style songwriting session at my home studio,” Iris tells Atwood Magazine. “We came up with the guitar riff and wanted the melody and lyrics to be simple, and slightly somber. To me, the lyrics of “Birthday Baby” tell the story of two people existing in an estranged relationship, who are unable to come to terms with it. Both people are waiting for something to happen, but no one is willing to do anything to break out of their own isolation. It’s sort of an ode to loneliness. Ironically, it was a fun song to write and produce!”

Eden Iris © Ko Zushi

Eden Iris © Ko Zushi

These days I keep my love inside me
What would you say if you could talk?
It’s not the distance I know
it’s not the difference

So hold me now,
like the way that we used to know

and you know
I’ll be waiting
waiting in between these walls
I’ll be waiting
until it cannot wait anymore
It’s my birthday baby

“Birthday Baby” finds Eden Iris slowly embarking down the path toward her forthcoming debut album, for which there is no release date yet (but plenty of built-up anticipation). The artist has demonstrated a oneness with her emotions akin to that of fellow Oceanic singer/songwriter (and Atwood favorite) Angie McMahon, who recently released her debut album Salt earlier this July. In Iris’ case, her vocal purity increases a sense of fragility in her words, whilst her musical performance leaves a haunting shiver trickling down the spine.

“Birthday Baby” is a raw message of remorse, nostalgia, and ultimately, loneliness. It vividly evokes the quality of being alone in a moment of celebration, and of how a special moment is built not off the grandeur of the exercise, but rather the people with whom we are celebrating. When we are alone, we are so very, very, alone.

Stream Eden Iris’ new single exclusively on Atwood Magazine!

Stream: “Birthday Baby” – Eden Iris



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Birthday Baby - Eden Iris

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📸 © Jes Harlen
art © Jeremy Roberts


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Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com