SKAR DE LINE – Single Review: “A Way”

Quite a few music bloggers I follow seem to have favorite artists and bands they like to write about, and I’m no exception. I’m partial to certain artists and bands not only for their music of course, but also because I genuinely like them as people, so am happy to support them however I can. One such artist who falls into this category is Skar de Line, the solo music project of singer-songwriter, producer and composer Oskar Abrahamsson.

A thoughtful, charismatic and intensely creative guy born and raised in Sweden and now based in London, England, Oskar draws inspiration from his love for cinematic soundtracks and blends those influences with pop, hip-hop, electronica and alternative rock to create dark, unconventional music that takes the listener on a sonic adventure while also giving us a lot to think about. A renaissance man of sorts, the multi-talented fellow writes, performs, records and produces all his own music, as well as writing, directing and editing all his imaginative music videos. I’ve featured him on this blog him more times than I can remember over the past five years, both as a member of his former band Heist At Five as well as his solo act Skar de Line. 

Oskar is endlessly fascinated by the concept of boundaries and the human need for self-understanding, so with that as a guiding principle, in May 2022 he released “Reset”, the first chapter in his autobiographical suite of music that aims to explore those concepts. That song addressed the notion of wanting to become a better person through continually evolving and reinventing oneself, but fearing that nothing will ever be good enough. He followed a few months later with the second chapter “New Silhouettes”, a song about having the freedom to make your own choices to become whoever or whatever you want to be, with no limits on how many different options you can choose. Last November, he released the cinematic “No Eyes in Paradise”, the third chapter in which he pondered his own sense of self-worth as an artist, believing he’s creating works of value and merit, but fearing that if no one else sees nor acknowledges them, does any of it mean anything? (I reviewed both “Reset” and “No Eyes in Paradise”.)

Now he returns with the fourth chapter of his autobiographical suite in the form of the single “A Way“, a hauntingly beautiful song inspired by a real-life event in Oskar’s life that occurred one night in London. He witnessed a man about to commit suicide by leaping off a ledge, intervening at just the right moment and saving the man’s life. But instead of feeling relieved that he’d helped avert the demise of this man, he was hit with conflicting emotions he hadn’t expected. Rather than feeling positive, caring thoughts over having saved the man’s life, he also harbored feelings of deep selfishness. Regardless of the outcome of the situation, he experienced a sense of excitement from the event, which gave him a new story to tell.

To convey this sense of emotional conflict, dissonance and guilt, Skar de Line layers eerie, wobbly synths over an emphatic beat as he croons: “With my hands on your shoulder looking down, this feeling is creeping up on me. The excitement I just can’t deny. Twenty feet above the ground, I’m scared, just how little I care. It’s almost like I’m thrilled to be here. Maybe it’s no longer about your fall. Maybe it’s about mine. Up or down, I can’t control it. I don’t know where I’m going. Up or down, I can’t control it. I don’t know what I’m doing.” The music turns more cinematic in the choruses, his vocals rising to a lovely plaintive entreaty as he sings “And if you would let go just for a moment, that would change our lives tonight. A bridge to a new life. Another step now, and you’ll take my breath away.”

This music video was entirely created, storyboarded, and edited by Skar de Line, and filmed on location in the Swedish countryside. The scenes were shot in the middle of summer in bright daylight, and later color corrected in dark blue hues to make them appear to have occurred at night, as was done with quite a few films made in the 30s, 40s and 50s before the advent of computer generated effects and more sophisticated cameras (“Sorry Wrong Number”, “From Here to Eternity” and “South Pacific” are a few that come to mind).

The story depicted in the video takes a different turn from reality, reflecting how Skar de Line truly felt about the night. He’s shown sitting on a ledge overlooking a lake with another man, and when the man finally leaps off, Skar de Line reaches out to grab him too late to stop him from tumbling over the precipice. The outcome of the event leads him to question his core sense of morality, his perspective on what is up and down, and ultimately, if there could have been another way to go.

Connect with Skar de Line: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Find his music on Spotify / Apple MusicAmazon / Soundcloud

11 thoughts on “SKAR DE LINE – Single Review: “A Way”

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