Elina trusts the moment on ‘Whatever Happens Now’

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Recommended Tracks: “Apologize,” “You Make Me Think Of Fire,” “Worst Is Over”
Artists You May Like: Clairo, mxmtoon, Laufey

Time. Time is something we all have in common. Whether we are constantly chasing it, running out of it, desperate to relive it, speeding it up, slowing it down – we all feel some sort of way about it. Maybe we look back on a moment in time and wish that it was different. Maybe we see life for what it is and embrace the time we have right now. On Whatever Happens Now, the latest album by Swedish singer-songwriter Elina, time has a big influence on the stories we hear. It causes her to rethink relationships, take chances, and trust that the only parts in life that matter are the ones that happen right now.

After the serene piano prelude “Silver Linings,” which opens the album, we get into Elina’s various experiences in relationships. On the bittersweet “Apologize,” Elina gives a simple send off to an ex. The bluesy piano and warm melodies speak for themselves, gently guiding along the pop vocals that come through. Elina sings, “Now I’ve got better things to do / Than to apologize to you / No matter what you say or do / Still won’t apologize to you,” before finally declaring that she will not be sorry for “not being who you want.” The question of desire also arises in the following “Before We Fall Asleep,” where Elina asks, “Would you let me know before we fall asleep? / Will you let me in or close your heart on me?” She assumes that she’s “too whatever” for this person, the quiet intensity of her vocals conveying this uncertainty amongst the electric guitar strums and heavenly harmonies. With “You Make Me Think Of Fire,” Elina displays similar questions and doubts. She describes a dangerous but inviting situation through lines like, “And I just can’t control you / And I just can’t contain you” and “You break me, and you save me,” making us wonder if she should keep going or stay away. While it could be about someone she knows, this track could also be about chasing dreams (as she also mentions in the song) or other aspects of life that bring about such conflicting feelings.

Towards the middle of the album, Elina touches on the importance of taking chances. She seizes an opportunity to live in the moment on “Sweet Night,” getting behind the wheel and going for a drive on a beautiful, “sweet night.” She appreciates this spontaneous decision to take in the “summer breeze” and all the stars shining brightly above her, helping her to clear her head. It is healthy to let go and experience something different at times, which comes through on the title track. After describing assorted fallouts and noticing “all of the little changes,” Elina gets into the mindset of going with the flow. She sings, “So I let go and open my arms to whatever happens now,” open to the possibilities. Giving listeners an extra push to take chances and be open is “I Should’ve Danced More,” which is a reminder to pursue what makes you feel the most alive. She sings, “I should’ve danced more / I should’ve taken all the chances / When I had them, but I was too afraid,” eager to “live without a plan” in the future.

Elina closes the album with “Worst Is Over” and “I Don’t Know Love.” On the former, we hear Elina give advice to a friend going through a breakup. As she is on the phone with this friend, Elina shares, “It’s gonna hurt and you will feel lost / That’s how it is when it’s somebody you love / There will be lots to figure out / But the worst is over now,” trying her best to bring a little light to the situation. But even with this advice, Elina has her own reservations about love, as heard on the closing track “I Don’t Know Love.” In sync with the piano, she vents her frustration with the game of love, disappointed that she has not figured it out “after all this time.” With wistful vocals, she sings, “For all the scars that coat my heart / I thought that I’d be wiser,” desperate for answers. Still, there is a glimmer of hope that resonates through the music, instilling a feeling that the best is yet to come for Elina.

Overall, Whatever Happens Now is patient, warm, emotional, and heartfelt. By keeping the production minimal, the lyrics and vocals are able to stand out and draw attention to these sensations. Elina’s care in the vocals, the phrasing, and the harmonies also adds enough of the “wow factor” to the project, making up for a lack of dramatic instrumentals or winding vocal runs. It would have been nice to hear Elina sing out a little more, as the pop quality of her voice is truly stunning, but this album did not need any extra drama. There is a nice balance of gentle and emotionally damaging tracks on here, in the end, with nothing that truly breaks the spirit of the album or its overall message to forge ahead and take on whatever comes next.

You can listen to Whatever Happens Now on platforms like Apple Music, SoundCloud, and Spotify.

Keep up with Elina: Instagram // Facebook // TikTok // YouTube // Website

Christine Sloman
Christine Slomanhttps://linktr.ee/christine.sloman
Writer for Melodic Mag since 2018. Music lover since always.

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