Up and coming scandi-pop star LIL HALIMA gives us the video for 'Train', a metaphor laden trip into her trials in love over forward thinking pop production
Pop music, an ever evolving genre, has recently reshaped its image of being the most generic cookie cutter genre to one of the most amorphous, forward thinking and diverse styles of music out there. The Scandinavian pop scene in particular is at the forefront of this shift, taking the focus off systematic pop powerhouses of the States and the UK and approaching the genre with a totally fresh mindset. Artists like MØ, SIGIRD and TOVE STRYKE have popped out of the fertile scenes across Northern Europe and broken through into the wider pop conversation, and soon to be joining them is LIL HALIMA. Her new single 'Train' is a bright slice of scandi-pop, featuring the clipped vocals, bouncy percussion and atmospheric soundscapes of the genre while bringing her own addictive lyricism and subtle delivery.
The track, written on a train of course, details the trials of doing your best in love but it not being enough to last, but its melancholy content is disguised by its peppy instrumental. Along with being a songwriter and lyricist, Lil Halima also co-produces her tracks, layering harmonies and autotuned backing tracks to accentuate her own delivery. Glossy video game sound effects are sprinkled among simple guitar strums and a hip hop drum kit, building a sound pastiche filled with syncopation and driving rhythm.
Bardu, Norway is the location of her music video, where we see Lil Halima cutting through the icy landscapes of her hometown in warm reds and yellows. Romanticised slices of the country side and cheeky home videos are here and gone in a moment as if we're passing them on the train. Sharp snippets of lights whizzing by cut between these cozy moments, as if we are peeking into Lil Halima's train of thought as she rides an actual train. The train metaphor is all over this track and the video, with Lil Halima's delivery elevating the repeated imagery into a heartfelt symbol and key to her storytelling in the track.
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The singer songwriter has been working on an album for the past year inspired by acts like SZA, FKA TWIGS and ERYKAH BADU with that bubbly scandi-pop twist. 'Train' is a great taste of what's to come when it drops in October; metaphor-laden lyricism, lowkey yet stunning delivery and bright poptimism.
WORDS BY HOLLY O’NEILL