Here’s a casual question to lighten the mood: where does pain come from?
Not the I-stubbed-my-toe-pain which is a clear-cause-and-effect-pain (and also the WORST!). No, we are talking about the more poetic, abstract, written-about-in-songs-pain:
The sadness we feel watching a sunset, or rain gently fall from the sky at dusk. And it’s not a pain exclusive to the poets and songwriters! We see you, misunderstood engineer with a sensitive soul sighing heavily as you engineer the engineer-y thingamabob. For the dreamers and realists alike, we sometimes feel things we can’t understand and Austrian singer-songwriter OKSA is here to guide us through it with her latest single, “Misunderstood”.
The gorgeous string-heavy ballad starts out with a minimalist plucking texture and OSKA’s emotive and gentle voice singing “When the sunset/ Makes you sad/ And you feel like you’ve got nothing left to say.” Damn OSKA, buy us a drink first (*cue the Tonemamas getting uncomfortable with such a vulnerable expression of emotion and feeling the need to make a dad joke #tonedads). As listeners there is no distance between us and Oska – she pulls us directly into her dreamy-pop soundscape of emotional complexity and while jarring at first, we can settle in with her.
“Don’t tell me it’s because of my childhood/ That I feel so misunderstood.” she sings in the chorus – there is a directness to her lyrics that is unusual but so very beautiful.
In a song about the nature of being misunderstood she makes the listener feel surprisingly understood. With OSKA we’re able to cross off one myth from our list of beliefs as misunderstood folk – that we’re the only ones here.
Best listened to while: While watching a sunset and not feeling the need to justify that inexplicable sadness that arises in your complicated soul (WE UNDERSTAND YOU)
Listen for this moment: 01:18 when that simple, subtle but highly effective cello arrangement enriches the texture further