Swedish singer/songwriter Benjamin Gustafsson debuts his introspective reimagining of the Avicii classic “Wake Me Up.” The emotionally charged track is from his upcoming major label album release The Nature Within (Decca Records US) set for release on September 8.
“Wake Me Up” may seem sparse compared to the original Avicii version, but the beauty in the song lies in the barely-there vocals that fight for attention not just to be listened to but to be understood. The ethereal backing guitar and synth sounds tenderly fill in the whisper-like vocals and surprisingly develop into a wave of sound that fully envelops the listener – it’s quite a different take indeed but one that makes its mark in its delicate delivery. The video for the song succinctly matches the mood of the song, and you can watch it here.
Speaking on the origins of the remake Gustafsson adds, “I never planned to cover Avicii in truth. It all was a pure coincidence. They were doing a symphonic version of one of his songs in 2021 three years after his passing during an inauguration for an arena that was going to be called the Avicii Arena in Stockholm. I came across it on YouTube and noticed that the lyrics spoke something different in this symphonic version, and I got curious about what would happen if I played one of his songs too. ‘Wake Me Up’ was highest up on Spotify, and I searched for the lyrics and just played.”
On what the lyrics meant to him he says, “There was a line: ‘I tried to carry the weight of the world, but I only have two hands’ that somehow surprisingly grabbed me deeply when I sang it. I think the reason why is because whilst living in the house by myself in 2019 for a few years, an immense desire for me was to find a deep, profound, global solution to lessen the suffering for whoever is struggling, especially mentally. It’s a lot to put on one’s shoulder and it almost put an end to my own being hunting that desire. But this line from the lyrics helps me to remember that it’s not all on me. That I can only do my best and that’s enough.”
At the heart of The Nature Within is Benjamin’s relationship with his mental health and not succumbing to it. Music was his solace and therapy. Dark moments became inspiration, and shadows cast became shade within the mix.
The Nature Within is ultimately a record of hope – looking forward not back. It’s a record of textures, atmosphere and splashes of technicolor on a black and white canvas.
The Nature Within Tracklist
1. Home Again
3. Wake Me Up
5. Moments Flow Upwards
7. Which Will
9. Waiting For The Sun
11. Alone Again
Follow Benjamin Gustafsson:
Website – Instagram – Facebook