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Winona Oak Releases Debut Album “Island Of The Sun”: Streaming
Los Angeles-based Swedish singer-songwriter Johanna Ewana Ekmark, aka Winona Oak released her long-awaited debut album “Island Of The Sun” on June 10, 2022.
The album title means her hometown called Solens ö in Swedish.
Winona Oak said of the song in a press release, “I grew up on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 5360 miles from LA in the middle of the Nordic forests of Sweden on a small island called Solens ö, aka Island of the Sun. The island works as a metaphor for a place when everything's peaceful and simple. Like that time in your childhood when the world is only as big and beautiful as you make it, you know as we grow older we tend to complicate things. I want the island to represent a happy place in ourselves or in a relationship, a bittersweet yearning for a place we ache to go again.”
The album comprises 13-track, including preceding singles “He Don't Love Me”, “Break My Broken Heart”, “Piano in the Sky”, “Island of the Sun”, “Baby Blue” and "Jojo”.
All tracks were written by Johanna Ewana Ekmark. Produced by Andrew Wells, Cameron Montgomery, Chris Lyon, Gustav Nyström, Julian Gillström, Madelene Eliasson, Max Cooke and Valley Girl.
Winona Oak explained track-by-track for the album.
“Island of the Sun”
“This song was created on a sunny evening in Los Angeles when I was going through a really tough time and felt more homesick than ever.”
“I wish I knew earlier in my life that your self-worth has nothing to do with how other people treat you. When you exhaust yourself trying to save them from themselves, lying to protect them, sacrificing your own needs and getting your heart broken over and over again - you may realize that sometimes you have no other choice than to leave to say alive. Its a tough lesson to learn that someone you love doesn't care about you, maybe they wish they could but they just aren't capable and there's absolutely nothing you can do to change that. And maybe one day you will learn that your happiness isn't reliant upon the happiness of others.”
“He Don't Love Me”
“We're all capable of falling for people who don't value us, grasping for a leaving hand. But we must understand that we're just as capable of realizing that our worth does not lay in those heavy hands. I really hope that you can find it as a reminder to stop waiting for it to get better — you deserve better than that.”
“Break My Broken Heart”
“I wrote this little gem with two of my favorite people Oskar Sikow and Michelle Buzz. It made me realize that you have to be brave to love someone with all your heart — and if you don't take the risk you'll end up with nothing to lose. I hope it finds its way into your hearts and can't wait to follow its journey. You have to be brave to love someone with all your heart. But the biggest risk in life is to not take any risks at all. As long as we're breathing, what's one more scar?”
“Radio” via Consequence “Despite its narcissistic narrative, 'Radio' comes from a place that contains a lot of pain and frustration. If you've ever been with someone that constantly makes you feel like you're not good enough, you kind of start believing it yourself after a while.
This song is everything you think you're not and a good reminder that it's not your job to live up to other people's expectations. It was a challenge to keep a good balance while writing about such a heavy subject with a sprinkle of humor, but I think it made this song a lot easier to digest.”
“NDA” via Consequence
“'NDA' is a song that tells you about my own experiences and reflections on society as a woman in such a male-dominated world and industry. Nowhere in this world can claim that women have the same rights and opportunities as men.
I want every single girl in this world to know that her voice matters. I want her to know that she's strong as hell and that she's the only one who should be in charge of her own beautiful body and sexuality. My favorite lyric from this song is “I know that my body's beautiful, possibly it is Divine, and you will do well to remember that my body is only mine.”
“My Man” via Consequence
“We've all met them at some point. Maybe we dated them, maybe they tried to flirt with us at some bar or maybe they just shouted at us from across the street. This song is about a real a******… I mean bad person, someone who raises all the red flags, someone who never ever deserves to be your man — even though they'd like to make you think so.”
“Yours Tomorrow” via Consequence
“This is a song about being taken for granted. When you feel like they stopped making an effort, when you make sacrifices and keep working around them and their needs, but it's never the other way around. When they stopped making romantic gestures and you feel like you're not being valued. That's when you need to ask them 'why are you so sure that I'll be yours tomorrow?”
“Nothing to Lose” via Consequence
“Sometimes you need a push in the right direction in order to take that big step to leave someone that doesn't treat you right. I know that in a parallel universe you'd be perfect together, but you need to let go of the fantasy. I hope that this song can be that push for someone and I also hope that it will make them dance their sorrows away.”
“Mother and Daughter” via Consequence
“There are no words and there's no song that could ever describe the love that I feel for my mom. She's the sun, she's the moon, she's the first person that became my entire universe. I wanted to dedicate this song to her and to the generations of women before her. To her mother that was the smartest in her class but if you don't have the money you better start working fast. My mom taught me all about feminism and politics, to stand tall through it all, she's my biggest supporter, my biggest fighter. I am who I am because of her and I will never kneel. I love her forever and ever and all I wish is that we could have forever together.”
“Piano in the Sky”
“The night before I wrote this song with Max Cooke I had a dream about a piano playing high above the clouds. It was carrying a lot of the answers I was so desperately looking for so far far away in a hidden place. Desperately I tried to reach for it but my legs could barely move so I just watched as it faded away playing the same melody over and over again. For me the piano symbolizes all my fears and darkest secrets, all the repressed emotions that I've been running from. Like a song playing far away in my subconscious. I must find the courage to face it, I have to break the silence in order to heal. But sometimes I just wish that I didn't feel anything at all - and that's ok too. I love you guys, hope this one can find its way into your hearts.”
“Happy You're My Ex” via Consequence
“As I grow older and look back at my life, I'm able to see it through a different lens. I remember one of my exes telling me a lot of years ago that I would thank him at some point for breaking up with me because he didn't want me to get caught in his bad habits and he just wasn't capable of loving me, so this song is my way of saying, “Thank you, you were right.” I wasn't able to see it back then because I was so heartbroken but him breaking up with me was the best thing that could've happened to me.”
“Jojo is actually my nickname, I wrote 'Jojo' as a song to myself. Sometimes I feel helpless, frustrated, and completely overwhelmed inside the frames of society. Specifically, I don't know how to navigate inside this parallel universe of the internet and all that comes with it. It's a world that's getting more and more shallow and gives us endless access to everything. Polished images of 'perfect' people living their 'perfect' lives online. I will never look like them, but the thing is that they don't even look like themselves. On the internet we can be whoever we want to be. We can pick apart and choose the best parts of our personality, showcase our best moments, our most flattering images and even manipulate them to look less human. It's a toxic part of social media that pushes people into doing things that ruin them. How do we know what's real? How do we find real love and honest connections when you judge someone based on their internet persona? If money controls everything how can people without it control a change? And who am I in the middle of all of this? Just one out of billions of tiny little spots in the universe. I know what you're thinking, but despite its heavy subjects I feel like writing Jojo actually reminded me about what's really important to me. There's so much beauty and light surrounding me, real human connections, breathtaking nature and unconditional love. And in the end I'm made of the same particles as everyone else around me and maybe they feel just as lost as I do sometimes.”