Who is Sigrid Solback Raabe? Once you watch the music video for her single Strangers you’ll never forget her dance moves. Winner of BBC Sound of 2018, Sigrid shares the honour roll with past winners such as HAIM, Sam Smith and Ellie Goulding. She also shares the honour roll of appearing on my Spotify playlist this week.
The ear worm that it is, Strangers is a highly infectious electro pop tune. Pare back the synth beats, the acoustic version offers a beautiful yet raw diagnosis of what it feels like to live as a twenty one year old in 2018.
Granted the song is largely about two strangers meeting in a club who pretend the other is ‘the one’, it is highly telling of the age in which you and I exist in. As we consume Netflix by the binge-load and scroll endlessly through the hundreds of other people’s narratives, has anyone stopped to ask whether we’re ‘falling head over heels for something that ain’t real’?
After nearly thirty years on this earth, I have one key observation found true in the world around me and of myself. We are notoriously good at convincing ourselves something will fulfil all our hopes and expectations even when we know it won’t last forever. Like a stranger at a club who may just turn out to be our partner for life (yes, I’m sure it does happen but then divorce is also a thing). It’s like we can’t help but do it for survival reasons. More than ever, we are just an app away from finding ‘the one’ – whether it is a post, person, film or tune that can make our lives feel complete – just like in the movies. We want to play the fool when reality is too overwhelming to bear.
And when you come home long after the credits roll, life resumes with an unchanging thud. The fall back to earth can be rough, you’ve been shown a glimpse of an alternative story. One with meaning and purpose. One with dignity and justice. One with potential and hope. We wish it would last forever.
Maybe if there really is an alternative story which would make sense of our desires it would be worth breaking away from a system of wishful thinking. What is true. What is noble. What is pure. Those things would be worth falling for. Though Sigrid might not have intended it, Strangers is a wake up call in form of a highly infectious electro pop tune. The difference is in the acoustics of silence when the music stops. Where will you go to for truth?