Image credits: Nisju Films
iris is Norway’s most visionary young songwriter, and earlier this year she released her incredible and moving debut LP love and other disasters. To celebrate the release of the vinyl version of the album, iris is bringing you an acoustic retelling of the opening track, “push, don’t push”. It’s out now on GEMS/Warner Music Norway.
iris works with the themes that have always driven her music – the things we do for love, and the things love does to us; after the release of her EP Femme Florale, the 25 year-old from Bergen remarked “I sometimes feel like the ocean, shifting and changing – change is almost an instinct for me.”
In the spirit of change, this version of “push, don’t push” swaps the whirring electronics and beats of the record for gentle acoustic guitar (Fredrik Svabø) and piano (Askjell Solstrand), and swells of gorgeous strings played by Carmen Bóveda (cello) and Mari Birgitte Bølgen Halvorsen (violin). Right at the front are iris’s stunning vocals, naked and unadorned.
“‘push, don’t push’ was soooo cleansing to write, the words just fell out of me and I really needed to put words to that feeling,” says iris. “I was standing in the middle of affection and distaste. It felt like the relationship was burning all the way down, and we didn’t know how to stop it. I hated it, because I KNEW that it didn’t have to be that hard.”
She adds: “Being on the brink of leaving, I knew that if the pushing and pulling didn’t stop, I’d leave for real this time – and when I leave, I know there’s no way back for me. There’s a force and energy in this song that really comes out in the production too, but it made so much sense to make an acoustic version, to let all the frustration, desperation and love in it get the full attention.”