Mental health is certainly not news, nor is musicians that talk about how writing music can be like therapy. In the song “Get Closer”, Danish singer and songwriter Arina Mai takes on stress and relationships. Her debut single is from the forthcoming record, Imperfect. Learning to love doesn’t always mean another person, it can also mean to accept your own imperfections.
Dripping beats and stylish rhythms at its core, “Get Closer” has a lovely cadence. It’s quite primed to be a slow dance song, but if you really listen to the lyrics, it may not be the romantic song you thought. Get closer, closer to yourself, get closer, closer to health, Mai bleeds. The lyrics sketch a picture of someone that is really struggling. They can’t seem to slow down and really breathe. As much as the lyrics portray an inner mania, the music and Mai’s voice slither together, compressing a convalescent pureness. The protagonist and the listener is never left to fend for themselves and this song empowers the listener into a lucid state-of-mind.
Though it’s not clear from her biography, Mai does note in her press materials that she suffered a life-changing event earlier in her career. “Get Closer” certainly feels like a diary entry. Mai’s immersive voice gives the lister opportunities, moment upon each moment, to find their own words to express heartache. Be it unrequited love or instability or fear, this song transcends each of those feelings. The listener is never entangled in Mai’s personal struggle. It’s evident she’s been through something but her presence is stable and tranquil. I thought it would have been better to know what her past entailed, but listening to the song, I rethought my reaction. I wanted to know out of curiosity, but her music is her mouthpiece. She doesn’t owe anyone her story. Her lyrics share all that needs to be shared. The gentle burble of the music is more than enough and I couldn’t help but continue to hum along, hours after my first listen.
I also thought this song did a good job of looking forward. She doesn’t dwell on the past. Many songs can linger in what happened, how things used to be and lament over each memory. This song presses all the right buttons and creates a song that proves the glass is always half full. The veil of melancholy is going to be there, no denying this, but Mai’s grace can’t be taught. Her voice is what I imagine heaven to sound like. It has little whist, like hair wisps not going behind a long-haired persons ears, on a windy day. Like little kite tails bouncing in the sky, she annunciates words with little rambling nuance. Rather than sequester herself and give that same vibe to her listeners, she chooses to move on with her life. The surrounding music is panoramic and showcases a landscape of endless hope. I fell for this song and the steps up in the spiraling staircase beamed with stretched-out arms.