For Bristol-based indie folk duo Firewoodisland, “Soon” is a mini-letter to loved ones expressing their longing to be reunited soon in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.
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In 2020, nearly everyone is missing someone or something. For some, it’s something more abstract, like a sense of normalcy or life as we knew it. For others, it’s something tangible, like family members who live far away, and a gnawing uncertainty of when they’ll be able to reunite.
This isn’t lost on Bristol-based indie folk duo Firewoodisland. The latest single from the Atwood artist-to-watch, “Soon,” is a product of longing, and a product of this unusual year. At its best, art offers not an escape but a way to make sense of the world around us. Firewoodisland’s sophomore album did this gracefully, and this track does exactly that.
Atwood Magazine is proud to premiere Firewoodisland’s new single, “Soon,” out now. The project of Norwegian/Welsh multi-instrumentalists and songwriters Stian Vedøy and Abi Eleri, Firewoodisland have been active since early 2014 and released their eponymous sophomore album earlier this year. They followed that earlier this September with a cover of the Alphaville song, “Forever Young.”
Their first original track since releasing Firewoodisland, “Soon” is best enjoyed with a mug of hot-chocolate and a fire burning in a family room hearth. Warm, intimate, and deeply personal, Firewoodisland’s Stian Vedøy describes the track as “a mini letter to each of my family members, telling them how much I care, and that I hope to be with them very soon.”
Mother, you know I wish I could come over
Just hold you
Father, I miss you drawing out my laughter
I take after
I’ll be with you soon
I’ll be with you soon
I’ll be with you soon
When I look at the moon
I think of you
The song is dissimilar from some of the duo’s other music in the past, especially lyrically. The cathartic nature of the writing process Stian describes comes through in the music, and the result is a song that feels as personal as a diary entry. “When writing songs I tend to lean towards poetic lyrics, where the meaning behind the words are hidden in deep metaphors,” Stian explains. “I prefer to hide my feelings behind a bit of mystery. ‘Soon,’ on the other hand, is the total opposite. The words came all at once one night. I woke up at 2am with these simple and honest lines spinning through my head. I wrote the whole song in 20 minutes.”
The track, which was both written and produced during lockdown, feels deeply connected to feelings of missing people we are apart from due to the Covid-19 crisis. “Words are powerful. It’s so important to tell your friends and family that they are loved, and it’s so easy to forget in the business of life,” Stian said. If there’s one thing this virus has taught us, it is that when you strip away everything, all you sit left with is your family and the bonds you’ve formed with people you’ve met along the way.”
Brother, the pride I feel to see you a father
A safe harbour
Brother, I love you more than you can fathom
Then add some.
The track opens with an acknowledgement of missing one’s parents. “Mother, you know I wish I could come over // Just hold you // Father I miss you drawing out my laughter // I take after.” These lyrics, beautiful and demure, demonstrate how intense of a longing there is to see one’s family. The things missed are simple, such as an embrace and the ringing of laughter.
I watch you all grow and form
All through a phone, I miss you
What I’ve learned through this gloom
is simply that I wish you were here
The next few lyrics are slightly meditative. “I’ll be with you soon // I’ll be with you soon // I’ll be with you soon // When I look at the moon // I think of you.” Even though Stian can’t be with family right now, it feels that they are present with a simple glance at the moon.
The song continues with, “Brother, the pride I feel to see you a father // A safe harbour // Brother, I love you more than you can fathom // Then add some.” These lyrics, addressed to Stian’s brother, again demonstrate how this song truly is a letter, and the beauty of that. He adds that, “I watch you all grow and form // All through a phone, I miss you // What I’ve learned through this gloom // is simply that I wish you were here.” The pain of being unable to see loved ones is searing, and having to watch family’s lives through a phone is catching up to Stian, who is only able to muster that, through the gloom, he wishes his family was here.
The track is overwhelmingly soothing, and offers a balm to other people who have experienced a similar situation.
After all, nearly everyone is missing someone, or something. “Soon” provides a sense of reassurance that others are experiencing the same emotion, all wrapped up in a gorgeous, emotive indie folk track.
Stream Firewoodisland’s “Soon” exclusively on Atwood Magazine.
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© Dave Newbould
:: Firewoodisland ::