Review: Onsen’s Aching “Be There” Is a Song of Isolation & Longing

Onsen © Chris Coats
An outpouring of heartfelt emotion, Onsen’s new single “Be There” aches with longing to be with your one; it’s a song that now, more than ever, resonates with those of us who are isolated from our loved ones.
Stream: “Be There” – Onsen




After playing it cool for too long, my person drifted away. ‘Be There’ is a confession to him, that I took him for granted and realized foolishly late that I want in

Drew Straus’ artist project has transformed in leaps and bounds since the LA musician embarked on his journey four years ago, but one tenet has remained constant over the years: Onsen’s music is, and always has been, an expression of truth and vulnerability. An outpouring of heartfelt emotion, Onsen’s new single “Be There” aches with longing to be with your one; it’s a song that now, more than ever, resonates with those of us who are isolated from our loved ones.

Be There - Onsen

Be There – Onsen

I thought you said you’d
be waiting round, oooh

And that you’d come when I needed
But all the joy that
I should’ve shown, oooh

It only came as you’re leaving
So pay attention
As I should mention
I want to be there
And hold you close, as I belong

Released in mid-April during what felt like the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, “Be There” offers a space for solemn, sweet reflection. It’s a vessel for us to consider our values – how we spend our time and who we spend it with, the folks we truly appreciate and care for, and most importantly, those we’ve missed out on or neglected.

Onsen © 2020

Onsen © 2020



“After playing it cool for too long, my person drifted away. ‘Be There’ is a confession to him, that I took him for granted and realized foolishly late that I want in,” Drew Straus recently told Atwood Magazine. “That said, ‘Be There’ captures the joy of realizing you want to be with someone and that you’re on board before the reality of where they’re at or what they want gets added to the equation. This song is from that elated epiphany so while the listener may know that the singer (me)/relationship is done for, I didn’t know that yet. Somehow it still ends up being one of the most uplifting songs on the record.”

Now there’s something that I wanna shout, oooh
I hope you’re there for receiving.
No don’t you stand so far away, nooo
You’ll miss just why I’m worth keeping.
So pay attention
As I should mention
I want to be there
And hold you close, as I belong

Onsen’s “What Fortunes” at the Crossroads of Breakup

:: PREMIERE ::



In premiering Onsen’s second single “What Fortunes” back in May 2016, Atwood Magazine praised Onsen’s ability to express “the dread of hoping for the best, without any guarantees: Hazy and full of uncertainty, “What Fortunes” comes just in time to be enjoyed in the full heat of summer.”

Co-produced by Grammy-nominated producer Brook D’Leau, “Be There” comes just as folks throughout the world are “cancelling” summer – leaving us that much more time to muse on the people in our lives. Now with a stronger musical identity than ever before and a full, spacious, and ethereal sonic template, Onsen sounds cooly confident, in touch with himself, and sure of his artistry. “Be There” accentuates Onsen the vocalist and Onsen the ruminative soul-searcher: It captures Straus in a moment of honest and deep introspection, pouring his feelings out in song. Let us not just dwell in the past, but also commit to a better future – if we want to be there with our loved ones, let’s make sure we’re there for them, and with them, when this is all over.

Onsen © 2020

Onsen © 2020



Now there’s something that I wanna shout, oooh
I hope you’re there for receiving.
No don’t you stand so far away, nooo
You’ll miss just why I’m worth keeping.

The latest single off Onsen’s forthcoming full-length album, Keeper, “Be There” is out on all platforms now. Stream the poignant new single exclusively on Atwood Magazine; let it cleanse us of any regrets we may be holding onto, and help us transform our guilt into purpose-driven action. Coming out the other side, let’s commit to be true to ourselves, and better to others.

I want to be there
And hold you close, as I belong
I don’t know.
I want to be there
And hold you close, as I belong

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Stream: “Be There” – Onsen



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Be There - Onsen

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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