Set to release her debut EP later this month, Reykjavík based singer songwriter Jelena Ćirić has now shared the first single from the collection.
Reflecting on our preoccupation with finding the meaning of life, ‘Lines’ offers a captivating ethereal soundscape. With shades of the other-worldly allure of Regina Spektor, it flows with twinkling keys and the impassioned majestic splendour of Ćirić’s vocals, creating a musically rich, lyrically poignant slice of spellbinding alt-pop.
Listen to ‘Lines’, for the first time, here. And read a little interview with Jelena all about the track and her upcoming EP below!
Hi Jelena, can you tell us about your new single ‘Lines’?
‘Lines’ is a song about the fetish we humans have for answers to life’s big questions. Whether we admit it or not, we love the idea that a conversation with a fortune tell could reveal the purpose of our life or that we’ll meet a new lover and suddenly everything will fall into place. I don’t think that happens to most of us. Changing ourselves is gradual and hard and not very romantic.
And can you tell us a little about the inspiration behind the the song?
The song is set in Toronto, where I grew up. Like all cities it’s got many layers, and stepping into one of its neighbourhoods can feel like stepping into an alternate reality. It’s been a few years since I’ve lived there but it’s where I grew up and grappled with the sorts of questions that the song’s protagonist wonders about: who am I, what should I do with my life, who should I love?
You’re Serbian born, grown up in Canada, but have lived in Iceland for several years, how has living there influenced your songwriting?
The Icelandic music scene has been incredibly supportive and encouraging to be a part of. I studied classical singing – although it was a good foundation in many ways, it also instilled a scathing self-criticism in me that I had to unlearn. What I love about Icelandic artists is that when they have an idea, they just go for it. I’ve been learning to just act on ideas rather than criticize them to death before I begin.
And what can we expect from your upcoming debut EP?
I named the EP Shelter One because for me each of the songs is a little temporary haven that I built to process something I was going through. That’s what songwriting has always been for me – a way to explore questions I had about myself or the world or give myself a sort of solace that I couldn’t find elsewhere. Personally, I’m drawn to music that isn’t overly produced, and I’m really proud of the team behind this EP for bringing out the best in me without ironing out the authenticity of the songs. From Pétur Þór Benediktsson who recorded the vocals so beautifully and Snorri Hallgrímsson who recorded piano, to Margrét Arnardóttir (accordion) and Karl James Pestka (viola and violin) whose playing brings depth to the songs, Albert Finnbogason who produced it with such care and respect, and then Sarah Register’s mastering that polished it like a gem. It’s really important to me to acknowledge the people whose names you may not see when you check out a song on a streaming platform. This EP was a team effort and it was truly crafted with care at every step.
Huge thanks to Jelena for answering our questions!
‘Lines’ is out now, taken from Jelena Ćirić’s upcoming debut EP Shelter One, set for release 27th November via Icelandic label Paradís Sessions.