Once upon a time, a young Swedish girl decided she’d had enough with watching the planet melt before her own eyes. She decided she would no longer go and sit behind her usual school desk and learn about how the earth is slowly suffocating. Instead, she would take a seat outside the Swedish Parliament asking for stronger action to tackle climate change. Overtime, her call was answered by thousands of schoolchildren inspired by her definitive stance. Her influence started spreading further and further reaching everyone from embarrassed policy makers to city folk buying their usual Starbucks coffee and feeling just the teensiest pang of guilt. The sufferings of our planet were no longer being concealed as Greta Thunberg asked us to “act as if the house is on fire, because it is.” Today we share Dutch artist’s Celine Cairo’s “Bird Song” that sings about this very house on fire which we forget is our only home.
“I heard that the bees all disappeared/ Can you hear the silence lingering here?” Cairo sings. It’s a buzzing-less silence that more of us should be paying attention to, but don’t. Written by Cairo and London-based producer Tim Bran (London Grammar, Aurora), it is an exquisite track chronicling human beings’ complicated relationship with our own planet. Cairo’s plaintive and spectacular voice (giving us Dido vibes) sings with heartbreaking ache, “Will you bring back the horizons in my mind.” The horizons, the natural expanses of lush greenery that seem to disappear minute by minute as they get replaced by concrete jungles instead. The simple arrangement but powerfully effective soundscape never distract from Cairo’s voice delivering her message with gentleness and sorrow. It’s as if her voice seems to be coming from the very earth that she’s paying tribute to.
For any of us who might have strayed from our new year’s resolutions to be friendlier with all things green, let this track remind us to get back on course.
Best listened to while: Recycling your plastic, cardboard and glass with a bit more momentum
Listen for this moment: 00:40 the hauntingly gorgeous harmony changes in the chorus