The power ballad is the secret weapon of any singer/songwriter. There needs to be a precise execution of sadness, sing along factor and carefully placed dynamics. Iris’ new single “Stars” is an electro/acoustic power ballad probably unlike any you’ve ever heard, I mean, I’m sure you’ve heard a lot of stuff if you’re reading this, it is 2019 and we’ve got the internet but let me dig in.
2019 has been a busy year for the young singer/songwriter. She’s released 2 singles with music videos and her first release “Crazy” made its way to Netflix’s show Santa Clarita Diet. With 2 poppy jams already to her name, “Stars” allows Iris to show off her delicate side. The song finds the singer’s vocal to perfectly teeter the line between delicately frail, wounded and also powerfully assertive and sure of itself. Her voice continues to grow and expand as Imogen Heap-esque harmonies beautifully accompany the acoustic guitar, filling out the sonic space as if it were a full band. Produced by Grammy Award-Winning Malay(Frank Ocean, John Legend) the vocoder perfectly accentuates Iris’ honest delivery and provides a sort of juxtaposition between her naked voice and a heavily edited one.
This feeling of being between two extremes also plays out in the song’s lyrics. Born in New Jersey but currently residing in Los Angeles, Iris sings of “stars having left the sky” and how “even though they’re gone, the show must still go on.” It’s certainly a metaphor for a breakup but anyone who’s left their east coast home to head to the city of Angels immediately notices that all the smog and pollution don’t do the stars any justice. The video, if I’m not mistaken was also shot between L.A. and New Jersey and does a good job showing the artist in between these two worlds.
With two catchy singles already to her name, “Stars” does a great job of showing this emerging artist’s thoughtful side and would work well in a movie montage about moving, travelling or finding yourself in a time of transience. Be sure to follow her on instagram and check out her youtube for more videos.