There’s barely any light in the sky at the start of Winona Oak’s “Island of the Sun.” In the video for the title track of the Swedish singer’s forthcoming debut album, Winona stands among the snow-covered lands of her home. While the world around her is bitter and unforgiving, it pales in comparison to the frigid landscape inside her heart. “When was the light replaced? / Now it’s all ice in rain,” she sings. “I used to know your face like second nature / When did the darkness come.”
Despite the sub-zero temperatures in the video, there is warmth on the track. Winona’s voice comes through like the blissful kiss of the rising sun after a seemingly endless night. “Island of the Sun,” in both song and video, shows why Winona has earned such a loyal following: it’s a melding of her electrifying take on pop music, her captivating artist vision when it comes to her presentation, and most of all, her earnest approach to songwriting.
“ ‘Island of the sun’ was created on a sunny evening in Los Angeles together with Chris Lyon, Kate Morgan, Nate Campany, and Kyle Shearer,” Winona shares with HollywoodLife “Like almost always when I create music, I started the session with drinking (tons of) coffee and talking about life for hours. I can’t describe in words how healing it is to write songs for me and how thankful I am for all of the amazing people that I get to call my friends and co-writers.”
“On this specific evening when ‘Island of the sun” was born, I was going through a really tough time and felt more homesick than ever,” continues Winona. “I wanted the island where I grew up, 5360 miles from LA, to represent a happy place within myself or in a relationship. Solens ö, in the middle of the Nordic forests of Sweden – also known as ‘island of the sun,’ works as a metaphor for a place where everything’s peaceful and simple. Like that time in your childhood when the world is only as big and beautiful as you make it, you know as we grow older we tend to complicate things. This song represents a bittersweet yearning for a place we ache to go again. I hope you’ll love it as much as I do.”
Fans will get a chance to fall in love with Winona sooner than they think. She’s joining Oh Wonder on their North American tour, beginning in May in Toronto, Ontario, and hitting places like Boston, Washington D.C., Brooklyn, and Seattle throughout the rest of the month. It’ll be a little precursor, a herald of the coming day, to when she releases ISLAND OF THE SUN later this year.