Growing up on a small island outside Stockholm, singer-songwriter Marlene Oak turned to music as her way of expressing her notions of the world and those who live in it. “I was very confused as a child and when I grew up I realized how hard it is to be a human.”
After spending her teenage years busking on the streets of Old Town, Marlene found success opening for acts such as Miss Li, Whitney Rose, Susto as well as participating in various music festivals (Way Out West, STHLM Americana and Irisfestivalen). Marlene has her sights set on the release of her debut album “Northern Winds,” out August 28th via Amuse.
Known for her folk-rock melodies, Marlene’s latest single “Sailing Home” takes the listener down a storyteller’s journey weaving acoustics with smoky vocals, creating a campfire for the soul.
Written alongside Niclas Edhenholm, “Sailing Home” is about a longing to come home. “I remember it was a cold winter day; I had a picture in my head that the sun was shining, all I wanted was to be out in the open ocean,” expresses Marlene. In more symbolic terms, it is a reminder to be kind and truthful to yourself. “Sometimes we have to accept things for what they are and instead see the beauty in it, cause in the end, we only have ourselves.”
The basis of the song, although could be thought of as simple, is layered with deeper meaning. “Today I’m fine, tomorrow it might be raining,” states Marlene; a reminder not to take anything for granted as no one truly knows what tomorrow will bring. “There are so many times I’ve been stuck in the past and worried about the future,” admits Marlene. “I try my best now to stay in the present moment and not overthink too much, even though it can be difficult.”
We must learn to live in the NOW, along with doing what is in our best interest, in the hopes of creating better tomorrows. “I’ve always listened to what other people have to say, without even asking myself what I want,” explains Marlene. “Their thoughts and opinions of me became truths within my head. It’s important to be aware and remind yourself every day that you know yourself better than anyone else.”
Marlene delivers her story in the most thought-provoking and honest manner. “I think we all have a story to tell, explains Marlene. “Writing this song made me feel calm inside, even if it was hard and painful to connect with these emotions, but that’s what music is all about – honesty.”
If you can’t be true to yourself, then who will be?
Stream Marlene’s latest single “Sailing Home” below: