Alt Pop, Chamber Pop
Tales of a Longing Heart
Pop sounds of exile, departures, and longing are stitched together in Kristina Issa’s pop project. The Swedish/Syrian artist and her band have brought their mix of jazz and folk influences to stages across Europe. Eloquent synthesizers, bouncy drums and saxophones, and even an occasional touch of rock bringing musicians like Kate Bush and Regina Spektor to mind.
Music has been Issa’s “first thing in life” since childhood. She met her band members while studying at Gothenburg’s Music College. The project went through different experiments before releasing their first album “Afraid of Whales” in 2014.
“Mostly I write about hope, and maybe feeling a bit left out in this world.”, Issa tells us. “After seeing a war going down in my home country and living with a lot of fear, I think that’s why I wrote about this stuff.”
Her music combines these difficult, intimate subjects with colorful instruments that feel almost childlike. Songs like “This Little Heart” (2018) heal you through dance, while her album “Ocean” (2017) makes you stay quiet and listen through the resonant sea of feelings.
Kristina Issa has become a household name in the Swedish indie music scene. An active composer since her music academy years, she has worked on audiovisual shows like “Arabic Spring” and “Queen Zenobia” in venues like Stora Teatern (Gothenburg) and Södra Teatern (Stockholm).
Issa is preparing for the release of an album in November 2021, an exploration of the different forms of goodbye. The album singles “Can’t Stay” and “You’re Not Mine” got featured on Swedish outlets like Djungeltrumman, HYMN, and Popmuzik.
Photo by Nadim Elazzeh