SKAR DE LINE – Single & Video Review: “No Eyes in Paradise”

Skar de Line is the solo music project of singer-songwriter, producer and composer Oskar Abrahamsson, a thoughtful, charismatic and innovative artist born and raised in Sweden and now based in London, England. Fascinated by the concept of boundaries and the human obsession for self-understanding, he fuses his love for cinematic soundtracks by such composers as Hans Zimmer, Junkie XL and Ramin Djawadi with hip-hop, alternative rock and electronic metal to create dark, unconventional music that takes the listener on a sonic adventure while giving us a lot to think about. 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 Skar de Line numerous times on this blog, most recently last May, when I reviewed his single and video for “Reset”, the first chapter in his autobiographical suite of music. The song explores the concept of wanting to become a better person through continually evolving and reinventing oneself, but fearing that nothing will ever be good enough, expressed in the lyric “Every time I open my eyes I kill an old version of mine. But I’m not a murderer, no, I’m a maker./ Every time I close my eyes, I am already set to reset.”  He followed in July with the second chapter “New Silhouettes”, a song about having the freedom to make your own choices in becoming whoever or whatever you want to be, with no limits on how many different options you can choose. Now he returns with “No Eyes in Paradise“, the third chapter of his personal journey of self exploration and the need to understand himself.

With this song, he ponders his own sense of self-worth as an artist, believing that he’s creating works of value and merit, but fearing that if no one else sees nor acknowledges it, does any of it mean anything? He explains: “You can be great, you can want to do well for yourself and for people around you, but if no one saw what you did, did it really happen? If your life work is something that the world does not care about, what is your life worth? And are there any limits to what we can’t do to get that attention, that worth? Throughout the lyrics, there is this growing frustration in the world around me, a feeling that I think every creator recognizes. A feeling that the world does not actually really get you.” For both song and video, he uses classical imagery to bring his message to life. Here’s a photo of him in a setting similar to the famous Leonardo da Vinci painting of Mona Lisa (in which he’s undeniably more attractive):

Though all of his songs have cinematic elements, “No Eyes in Paradise” is his most grandiose and melodically complex yet, blending dramatic choral and symphonic elements with bold hip hop beats and heavy electronics to create a magnificent soundscape. The song opens with a soaring gospel-like choral, then quickly segues into a dark trip hop groove, with harsh industrial synths and finger snaps as Skar de Line raps the opening verses. As the song progresses, the music alternates between trip hop verses and sweeping symphonic choruses, punctuated with delicate piano chords and gorgeous string synths. His emotive vocals go from seductive, slightly sinister rapping in the verses to impassioned entreaties in the choruses, creating a strong sense of tension and emotional angst.

I’ve got this presentation that will surely blow your mind
This is an invitation to a god-damn paradise
The only thing I ask for is another pair of eyes
Cause what you never saw it never happened, right?

No eyes in paradise
No eyes in paradise
No eyes in paradise
No eyes in paradise

As these doors are left wide open
As my world turns in slow motion
As these walls are steeped in gold
Another bottle’s left unopened
Another story on repeat
Another comment obsolete
Another invite went astray
Another offer thrown away

Did I bathe in the light
Turn inside out
Did I repaint the skies
For empty crowds?
Did I wait for too long?
Have you all moved on?
Am I the architect
Left in paradise?

I still got to trust in some kind of order
Some kind of virtue for which you’ll adore me
But I cannot leave it, you need to sign
And I'm getting restless, I'm out of time
How far do you go for wickedness
to stop being sexy and just grotesque?
If there’s a case, I haven’t found it yet
I can’t imagine or believe that this is it

Did I bathe in the light
Turn inside out

Did I repaint the skies
For empty crowds?
Did I wait for too long?
Have you all moved on?
Am I the architect
Left in paradise?

No eyes in paradise
No eyes in paradise
No eyes in paradise
No eyes in paradise

Like a lamb of God, like a torn façade
Tearing up the scars with no regards
Just come inside, I’ll break it down
It’s a god-damn paradise
How far do you go for wickedness
to stop being sexy and just grotesque?
If there’s a case, I haven’t found it yet
I can’t imagine or believe that this is it
If I offered you a piece of the forbidden apple
Would you trust me to repaint the Sistine Chapel?
Does it matter what I do or what I’ve done?
Would you trust me now if I am the only one?

The brilliant video Skar de Line created for the song is his own interpretation of a perfect, but empty, paradise. Throughout the video, he recreates and inhabits some of the most renowned renaissance paintings such as The Last Supper (Leonardo Da Vinci), The School Of Athens (Raphael), and Saint Jerome Writing (Caravaggio), all in his desire to make something special that others will care about. He elaborates: “But like an architect left in paradise, a creator in a world that does not need more creations, I’m feeling like I’m falling behind and running out of time to make a difference. Maybe I’ve gone about it wrong. In the final scenes, as I’m leaving my paradise behind to walk out into the dark night, a thought goes through my head. Maybe it’s all a matter of perspective. Maybe, just maybe, it’s not what I do that needs to change, but rather the world in which I do it in…” His creativity and imagination, as well as technical prowess to be able to produce such a beautiful video, are truly impressive.

“No Eyes in Paradise” is Skar de Line’s finest work yet, and I eagerly await the next chapters in his autobiographical suite.

Connect with Skar de Line: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Stream on Spotify / Apple Music / Soundcloud
Purchase on  Amazon

SKAR DE LINE – Single & Video Review: “Reset”

Skar de Line is the solo music project of singer-songwriter, producer and composer Oskar Abrahamsson, a talented, handsome, thoughtful and creative artist born and raised in Sweden and now based in London, England. Fascinated by the concept of boundaries and the human obsession for self-understanding, he fuses his love for cinematic soundtracks by such composers as Hans Zimmer, Junkie XL and Ramin Djawadi with hip-hop, rock and electronic metal to create dark, unconventional music that takes the listener on a sonic adventure while giving us a lot to think about. He writes, performs, records and produces all his own music, as well as writing, directing and editing all his music videos.

In October 2019, Skar de Line released his debut single “In Charge”, a fascinating orchestral electronic song about the human need to understand and control our surroundings, followed a year later by “Satisfied”, which explored the concept of satisfaction, posing the question “do we get satisfaction from being right, or merely by the act of searching for what we think we want?” The intensely dramatic song ended up spending 10 weeks on my Weekly Top 30 from January through March of 2021. (I reviewed both singles, and you can check them out by clicking on the Related links at the end of this post.)

Now he’s back with another single “Reset“, a dark and cinematic song that sees him continuing to explore new musical sounds by pushing beyond his comfort zone. He explains that the song “is built on my need to be better. A wish to constantly evolve, but also a fear that nothing ever will be enough. This is a journey out of this mental prison, in order to try to find something that I believe in, something I can hold on to forever.” He further elaborated on his Instagram page “Does every circle, even the ones we’ve created ourselves, hold us back? No matter how positive they are meant to be? As I looked around the room, I knew myself well enough to know that in my search to be better, this moment was just a phase, and would not mean anything in the next moment once I’ve grown beyond it. But I didn’t know if I really could accept that and let that happen, or if I, in this moment, could be more than that… Just take what I needed from myself.

“Reset” opens on an eerie note, with sounds of Skar de Line’s echoed breathy gasps, which are soon accompanied by a distant rumbling bass and gently ticking drums as he sings in a rather ominous voice “Every time I open my eyes I kill an old version of mine. But I’m not a murderer, no, I’m a maker./ Every time I close my eyes, I am already set to reset.” From there, the music gradually builds as the breathy gasps continue, with the addition of dark orchestral synths and sharp percussion, creating a strong aura of tension along the way. His vocals turn more menacing as the tension continues to build, finally exploding into a bombastic cinematic crescendo, highlighted by a hauntingly beautiful angelic chorus that he states serves to “lift us out of the darkness“.

The brilliant video, filmed mostly in black and white and sepia tones, pays homage to the neo-noir black-and-white art style, and reflects the claustrophobic sentiments expressed in the lyrics. Skar de Line is dressed in black amidst a dark background, representing him feeling deeply trapped in the dark mental prison from which he wants to break free. His mind’s eye envisions a setting sun in a world of color, symbolizing a sense of freedom that still eludes him, and pushing him to fulfill his wish to climb out of this cycle that holds him back.

Connect with Skar de Line: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Stream on Spotify / Apple Music / Soundcloud
Purchase on  Amazon

SKAR DE LINE – Single Review: “Satisfied”

Skar de Line is the solo music project of singer-songwriter and composer Oskar Abrahamsson, a talented, charismatic and creative young artist born and raised in Sweden and now based in London, England. He’s also front man and lead vocalist for London electronic rock band Heist At Five, who I just featured two weeks ago when I reviewed their latest single “Faceless”.

Fascinated by the concept of boundaries and the human obsession for self-understanding, Skar de Line explores them through the creation of his dark and unconventional music. Drawing on his love for cinematic soundtracks by composers such as Hans Zimmer, Junkie XL and Ramin Djawadi, he fuses those stylistic elements with hip-hop, rock and electronic metal to create his own unique sound that excites, pushes boundaries and gives us a lot to think about.

In October 2019, he released his superb debut single “In Charge”, which I also reviewed. Now he returns with his latest single “Satisfied“, which drops today, November 27. It’s a darker, more intense song than “In Charge”, while still featuring many of his signature cinematic and electronic elements and complex melodic song structures that I love. He uses a swirling mix of dramatic industrial synths and ominous sounds, set to powerful dubstep-style beats, to create an intense, almost menacing soundscape. As always, his deeply emotive vocals are wonderful, going from sultry croons that seduce us one moment to impassioned cries that bring chills the next, and all delivered in his charming Swedish accent.

Lyrically, Skar de Line ponders what is it that satisfies us, specifically, do we get satisfaction from being right, or merely by the act of searching for what we think we want? He elaborates: “‘Satisfied’ deals with the power we have over our own perception of ourselves, and on the contrary, the alienation we feel around people we don’t understand, the loss of control we have over someone that doesn’t have anything left to lose. It’s about the disorientation we get when we accomplish what we set out to do, when we no longer have a purpose.” Taking this idea further, it would seem that those who generally get most or all of everything they desire – like super-wealthy people for instance – would never be totally satisfied.

 
 
 Satisfied, feeding a legend, feeding the myth 
 Feeling safe, staring down into my own abyss
 Can you push, a man who has lost the sense of his gravity?
 Please try, and tell me now, now tell me how
  
 I’m not really human to you
 I don’t feel people as you do
 I have a fucked-up way of seeing the world I’m living in
  
 And you know, what if you were right?
 And people like you they are making me feel alive
 Keeps me satisfied
 Then how does it feel to know you’re completely right?
 Does it satisfy?
 
 You believe that I still can be saved
 That I’m too profane for this place, you're a god, 
 Come to save, the human race, from my blood 
 As a fulltime martyr now
 It’s a fascinating religion you’ve come to give your whole life for 
 Come on and tell us how
 
 I’m not really human to you
 I don’t feel people as you do
 I have a fucked-up way of seeing the world I’m living in
 
 And you know, what if you were right?
 And people like you they are making me feel alive
 Keeps me satisfied
 Then how does it feel to know you’re completely right?
 Does it satisfy?
  
 I wouldn’t ask you to do anything I wouldn’t do myself
 I’m your bat, you’re a dog, you’re my fuel, I can’t stop
 And it touches my heart that you run for me
 Cause I’m the splinter embedded deep inside of your mind
 What itch would you scratch when you got me out?
 I don’t wanna stay alive, I wanna feel alive
 Will it satisfy when you’re satisfied?

Skar de Line premiered a new cinematic music video for “Satisfied” on December 4th. Filmed in London, and directed and edited by himself, it’s his most ambitious film yet.

Follow Skar de Line: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Stream on Spotify / Apple MusicSoundcloud
Purchase on  Amazon