Do you ever wish you could go back in time to talk to your younger self? To tell yourself that everything is going to be okay? To go back to a moment of panic where you could say not to worry, because everything works out the way it is supposed to work out. Atwood Magazine is proud to premiere the official music video for “Paper Heart” (independent release) by Leena Ojala, which is a touching visual love letter to ones younger self about how you are not alone, what you are feeling is normal, and everyone else around you is going through something similar.
Watch: “Paper Heart” – Leena Ojala
Directed by Aella Jordan-Edge, the video opens with Ojala’s echoing chants of “paper hearts” against soft tones. The visual we see to start is Ojala on the beach narrating the story that is surrounding the song. The story revolves around a young girl on a road trip with her friends. At times she immerses herself in the fun, however, she also finds herself retreating to solitude and reflection. The girl in the story is likely a representation of Ojala’s younger self, as she stated, “The song was initially about me talking to my younger self, giving advice to an early teen having tough time while growing up.” The road trip commences as Ojala sings out,
You are not the only one
Who feels being all alone
Tender years have had their run
Now I’m far, far away from home
The uplifting chorus plays through as we see the road trip go on, with flashes in-between of Ojala herself singing on the beach. The teens have fun with each other in the car, the girl included; however she continuously falls back to dismiss herself from the group. When the camera transitions to Ojala singing on the beach, her face is hopeful and happy, reflecting the lyrics she is singing.
So delicate and peaceful
Work of art
So tear another piece off
Every colour wants to fade away
There’s the sound
Only when I’m dreaming
Love is loud when everybody’s screaming
Don’t you ever tear my paper heart
The music slows to ominous piano notes and bass drum beats as the second verse begins. The group arrives at a beach and gaze out into the abyss of the ocean. The girl slowly unravels, allowing herself to have more and more fun with the group. However, you still see her questioning herself and wondering if this is where she is supposed to be. The lyrics of the second verse poetically give an explanation to the back and forth visual of the girl we have been witnessing.
Tell me how to play the part
When the darkness is your only friend
And if it tears my world apart
Does it mean it’s just pretense?
The chorus picks up as the sun begins to set on the beach. Ojala sings with satisfaction as the group begins to build a bonfire. They pull out paper and begin to tear and throw it into the fire without a care or thought in the world. The girl quickly turns around and carefully folds a piece of paper, protecting it, and putting it in her pocket for safe keeping. The bridge begins, emphasizing the message of the song; to not tarnish the beautiful and innocent heart and soul she has – to not let it be corrupted.
Don’t you tear my paper heart.
As the bridge repeats on and on again you see the corruption slowly begin to happen. Her delicate paper heart is being tarnished. She listens to her friends around her, drinks a beer, and joins in on the wild activities surrounding the night. The chorus plays through one more time as the morning creeps. Sad and disheveled, she pulls out the piece of paper she once coveted, and tears it. She runs into the ocean, aware of what has happened, and then emerges liberated and free.
The song ends with the group driving away from the beach. She takes one brief look behind her, before turning around, at peace with the fact that she is now moving forward.
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