Almost exactly one year ago, I did an artist spotlight and interview with the hard-working and talented Olsson brothers Axel and Adam, who call themselves Jaded Jane. They’re both gracious and kind, and I’ve grown quite fond of them. Originally from Gothenburg, Sweden, and now split between Gothenburg and Glasgow, Scotland, the duo celebrate humanity and diversity through their music, writing compelling songs with positive, life-affirming lyrics and delivered with gorgeous piano-driven melodies and lush soundscapes. The brothers are prolific and busy artists, and have produced five outstanding albums since 2015, most recently 117 this past October. I reviewed “Trapped”, one of the stunning songs from 117, and you can read that review and my spotlight & interview by clicking on the “Related” links at the end of this post.
Jaded Jane is now back with another wonderful song “Heaven is Heart“, along with a powerful and deeply personal video. The song was written by Axel, and mixed and produced by their long-time collaborator and sound engineer Åke Linton. Axel was inspired to write the song from his experiences busking on the streets of Glasgow. He’s written on his social media of the challenges he’s faced trying to get their music heard, especially the struggles of being a street musician. He’s stated that he has met some of the nicest people and also some of the worst. But every once in a while, something really good can come from out of the blue:
“Being an artist is a challenging calling for anyone living in 2020. Playing the streets to let out my notes inside, led me to meet the person who played this song on BBC Radio Scotland for the first time in February on The Roddy Hart Show. What are the odds? From the streets to the BBC Radio. When you follow your passion you’ll find your true self. Big thanks to Paul English who discovered our music on the streets & premiered this song on BBC Sounds.”
Accordingly, the song’s lyrics speak to not allowing yourself to become totally beaten down and defeated by what can sometimes feel like an endless stream of adversities, but instead choosing to brush them off, forgive others as well as ourselves, and keep moving forward. Not always an easy thing to do, but it’s what we must do in order to survive in this often difficult world.
I’m beaten up inside
You’ll see it in my eyes
I’ve swallowed my pride
You won’t see it outside
Burned my candle down
They’re using me
We’re burning up inside
They’re using us
How long? How long will this go on?
For the choices I made
I forgive everyone else
Letting go of the past
To live in the here & now
I’ll build myself up
My Heaven is Heart
So long, So long it’s been so long
How long. How long will this go on?
Musically, the song features Axel’s lovely piano, accompanied by delicate atmospheric synths and gently throbbing bass notes from what sounds like a moog synthesizer. His beautiful vocals have a haunting, vulnerable quality that’s quite touching. The artistic and imaginative video was directed and produced by Rachel Koumparou, and shows Axel naked in front of a blank background, exposing himself not only physically but also emotionally. His brother Adam paints the words ‘How Long’ on Axel’s shoulder and arm, then ‘Heaven Is Heart’ on his chest as he gracefully moves to the music, smearing paint on his face and torso as if beating himself up but also reveling in the joy of being alive.
“Heaven Is Heart” will be officially released for streaming and purchase on most music sites on May 16.