A Song of Old Goodbyes
Kristina Issa crafts her latest single out of the deep sea of memories. “Can’t Stay” is a song of departures in different forms: From a distant childhood friend, from the universe you built together… but maybe also from yourself. The song’s longing spirit and bouncy instrumental richness remind you of Laura Mvula or St Vincent’s early albums.
“Can’t Stay” starts in full-immersion mode, with a nostalgic voice from far away and the pureness of a steady saxophone. “The story is about two kids that are friends that build up this world and bury all their secrets in the ocean.”, Issa explains. “Then suddenly, one of them grows up.”
The recurring nostalgia of the song adds deeper layers as the instruments appear one by one. Playful synthesizer melodies seem to say that the only estranged child isn’t your friend. “Maybe the song is somehow about myself missing that kid who loved to be in her own world, and now I can’t really find her anymore.”, Issa reflects.
A choir makes its appearance towards the end, featuring several musicians from Gothenburg’s music scene. The band has a background in jazz and folk music, and Issa herself is a composer for media and theater. But in “Can’t Stay” they’ve decided to keep it to the basics, with instrumentation and simple melodies that seem to come from the lost child’s daydreaming.
Kristina Issa has become a household name in the Swedish indie music scene. As a composer, she has worked on audiovisual shows like “Arabic Spring” and “Queen Zenobia” in venues like Stora Teatern (Gothenburg) and Södra Teatern (Stockholm).
Her songs about exclusion and longing are deeply rooted in her cultural identity and have been performed on stages all over Europe. Issa is currently preparing for the release of an album in late 2021, an exploration of the different forms of goodbye. “Can’t Stay” will be released on June 11th.