I recently received an invitation from Swedish indie singer/songwriter Filip Burman to check out his song “Stay Away”. Late in the evening, I spent a short time checking it out quickly and immediately liked it, so I intended to come back to it another time and give it a proper listen. I was initially struck by its calmness and the beautiful scenery of the music video, referring to it as a ‘peaceful song’.
But today in giving it a deeper listen, the song opened up like a flower in my hand. It’s Track Of The Day because of the potent thump to the feels it inflicted. “Stay Away” may offer peacefulness in floral scenery, stillness of water, isolation, gentle guitar, and Filip’s warm voice, but there is far more going on.
It seems that Filip (or the character he is writing about) has tried to keep it together and to move through his life, but he is haunted by hurt. He’s struck by painful memories that flood his awareness and becomes overwhelmed by an ache of coldness he feels within. He thought this was done, and didn’t want to still be feeling this now.
Beyond wondering why this is here now, he expresses the discomfort in being stuck in this experience. He feels lost, but is so drained by it all and the effort it takes to wade through the heartache that he barely cares what happens to him. There’s so many thoughts though and so many parts, that he becomes overwhelmed in thought.
“I only wanted you to go so I could stay home and watch as I fall apart”
In this situation, he’s taken it upon himself to remove his brokenness from another, to be alone as he crumbles in agony. He chose to do this in love, not wanting for his pain to make things worse for the other (‘Please don’t worry about me’).
The strength of sound and emotion continues to grow as “Stay Away” continues, enhanced by beautiful footage of the world around him. It feels as though the tugging at a thread of thought has unraveled, opening up a hole for all of the hurt to come rushing through, to be felt all over again.
As things become emotionally more severe, he begrudges his existence, questioning why he’s even here. A failure in overcoming this and handling it all. He wanted to keep his pain to himself, but it is becoming clear that he is drowning in it and can’t save himself.
The truth pours out then and he finally shares openly and emotionally:
“Please don’t let me walk away
Please just worry about me”
It’s something beautiful to experience as a story of fighting with emotion, holding others at bay, before finally letting them in. I loved it.
“Stay Away” is the single from Filip Burman’s upcoming EP Wildfire which will be released on the 13th of October 2017.