Winona Oak’s Debut Album Island of the Sun Is Full Of Reflective And Fun Electro Pop Tracks
After releasing her debut EP Closure and then She in 2020, fans of Winona Oak can finally enjoy her debut album, Island of the Sun. The album name originated from the name of Winona’s birth place, Sollerön in Sweden. Island of the Sun includes notable singles such as “Jojo,” “Baby Blue,” “Break My Broken Heart,” and “Piano In The Sky.” The album is full of tracks with Winona Oak’s signature electro pop style and beautifully descriptive lyrics that are combined with the dreamy sound of Winona’s vocals to create a feeling of reminiscence of past relationships.
The first song of the album is its title track, “Island of the Sun.” The song speaks of the end of a relationship, and starts off with Winona asking, “When was the light replaced?/ Now it’s all ice and rain,” as well as, “When did the darkness come in between this love?/ When did our hearts become strangers?” The music video is set in Winona’s birth town, referencing different activities she used to do growing up. One example includes her standing with horses, as she used to train as a horse acrobat as a child.
Watch the music video for “Island of the Sun” here:
“Baby Blue” is the next track on Island Of The Sun, and the vocalizations at the beginning of the song contrast perfectly with Winona’s voice as she sings of a partner who couldn’t love her back the way she loved him. She describes him in the first two lines of the song, “You were a Hollywood daydream/ A beautiful sad thing.” The music video depicts a montage of all the little moments leading up to the end of the relationship, all the good and the bad.
Watch the music video for “Baby Blue” here:
The next track, “He Don’t Love Me,” is Winona’s debut single, which was a runaway hit. It’s no surprise as her haunting vocals and instrumentals sound like a blend of Lana del Rey and Marina and the Diamonds. Winona’s vocals are paired with a simple musical composition that begins with just violin, before slowly adding in a drum pad until the climax where the beat drops. The song reminisces about a lost love, which is portrayed in the lyric video with the use of black and white shots, and a filter that makes the video look as though it was shot on a film camera.
Watch the lyric video for “He Don’t Love Me” here:
The fourth track on the album, “Break My Broken Heart,” is Winona admitting that she is still looking for everlasting love despite having been hurt before. The chorus of the song swells as she sings, “Break my broken heart/ Give me all you got, all you got/ Break my broken heart/ Watch me fall apart, fall apart/ I’m still breathing/ So what’s one more scar?” In the music video, Winona is in ever-changing scenes of red, reinforcing her passion to still find love, despite the pain.
Watch the music video for “Break My Broken Heart” here:
“Radio” is the newest single from Island of the Sun, and the music video was released the same day the album dropped. The upbeat track veers away from the more sad, reflective songs depicting the end of a relationship, and brings a more vengeful spirit in the form of a fun dance track. Payback is on Winona’s mind as she sings, “Put me on the cover, play me on the radio/ Wanna show my love that he shouldn’t have let me go/ Finding pretty boys to kiss in all my videos/ I don’t want him back but I still want him to know.”
Watch the music video for “Radio” here:
The next track, “NDA,” revolves around the idea of a “wolf in sheep’s clothing,” focusing specifically on someone who is in a position of power within the music industry, such as a producer. Set against the upbeat electro-pop track, the song depicts the danger of the supposed “nice guy” with lyrics such as, “It’s creepy when the demon’s pretending to be Jesus/ Looking like a star with a happy end.”
The upbeat tempo continues with the next track, “My Man.” The heavy beat and drops at the chorus make this a great dance track. The song also showcases the lessons Winona’s learned from past relationships as she describes through the lyrics, “I’ve had my fill of broken men/ Seen love come and go again/ I know better than to lose myself/ So when you’re coming way too strong/ I can tell there’s something wrong/ I can’t help, you have to fix yourself.”
“Yours Tomorrow” takes a different approach musically compared to the other songs on Island Of The Sun, with a more indie folk style, which fits with the song’s message of wondering why her partner doesn’t want to fight for Winona or their relationship. This more stripped down song emphasizes the longing in Winona’s voice as she asks, “Why won’t you surprise me?/ Fight for me?/ Why are you so sure that I’ll be yours tomorrow?/ Cry for me/ Tell me you’ll die for me/ Show me you’ll be sad if I’m not yours tomorrow.”
Although “Yours Tomorrow” brings down the tempo, “Nothing To Lose” brings back the upbeat electro pop sound. It serves as a good dance break between “Yours Tomorrow” and the track following “Nothing to Lose.” In the next track, “Mother and Daughter,” the song opens with acoustic guitar. The lyrics depict the strength and sacrifice that Winona’s mom made, and how it built their bond. Even though she sings about how strong their bond is, Winona’s fear of the bond breaking is shown in the lyrics, “You know what they say about a mother and daughter/ There’s no way to break us, nobody can take us/ But I’m still afraid they can.” “Mother and Daughter” is Winona’s ode to her relationship with her mom, and how despite her fears, she still knows deep down that it won’t break.
After “Mother and Daughter” is, “Piano in the Sky.” As the song title suggests, the piano takes the forefront of the song, as Winona sings about the fear of losing someone she loves. The lyrics switch from first person to third, seeming as though she was singing to him at first, before telling someone else about her fear, as can be seen in these lyrics at the beginning of the song, “I’m tired of thinking that I don’t deserve you/ I’m dreading the day when you let me go,” versus after the chorus, “I’m tired of thinking that I don’t deserve him/ I’m dreading the day when he lets me go.”
Watch the music video for “Piano in the Sky” here:
“Happy You’re My Ex” is the anthem for anyone who finally got over that ex who hurt them. The electro pop dance track is sure to make anyone dance, especially as they sing along to the lyrics, “And I’m havin’ the best night, best night here without you/ The best night, best night here without you/ The best night, best night here without you/ Like who are even you?/ I’m so stupid happy you’re my ex.” For anyone needing that reminder of how much better off they are without that toxic ex in their life, crank up “Happy You’re My Ex.”
The final track on Island of the Sun is “Jojo.” This song focuses more on Winona’s powerful and haunting voice, with the main instrument accompanying her vocals being the acoustic guitar. Winona’s vocals during the chorus are extremely autotuned at the beginning, and then as her vocals return to their natural state, the drum joins in to create a hard-hitting chorus. In the music video, Winona is standing alone on stage, flooded by warm light, staring directly into the camera as she sings, “Jojo, let go/ This world don’t deserve you/ And I’ll only hurt you so why are we here?/ Jojo, I don’t know/ Why we want to get famous?/ It’s not gonna save us from our own fears.”
Watch the music video for “Jojo” here:
Island of the Sun is a great electro pop album for anyone looking for songs to listen to after a break up, or to dance to as they start to get over the pain of the past. To stay up to date on Winona Oak’s music, be sure to check out her:
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For now, you can listen to Island of the Sun below!