Oropendola – Stillness
Oropendola is the lyrical chamber-pop project of Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Joanna Schubert. The artist chose a gregarious, enchanting bird native to South and Central America as her moniker, which perfectly characterizes the magical beauty of her music. While new to the scene as Oropendola, Joanna Schubert has been lending her vocals and musical chops to synth-pop act Half Waif and dream-pop band Barrie.
With “Stillness,” Oropendola dazzles from the start when she plays on a celesta, and adds more and more instruments as the song progresses. Her vocals are breathy and ethereal, like little flakes of glitter on fresh white snow. Lyrically, she also plays with the imagery of winter, and when she croons “winter won’t last much longer, dear” I am tempted to believe her. In its build, “Stillness” is reminiscent of Sufjan Steven’s finest works yet with an alluring, female vibe.
Asked about the first single from her future full-length album, Joanna Schubert says:
“Stillness” – recorded and co-produced with Zubin Hensler – is an ode to the season of patience and hibernation, imagined through the lens of an oropendola.* Rather than merely waiting for Spring to emerge, may we slow down and be present where we are, feel into the months of darkness and muted tones, and nestle deep into our most internal layers. Savor the precious, expansive silence of our own empty nests.
The sentiment resonates with me because winter is the time to get things “done,” while staying so much indoors. It’s also a time to embrace a different kind of beauty and savor it wherever we can find it, like in a brilliant track like “Stillness.”
Listen to “Stillness,” our Song Pick of the Day: