Rina Sawayama – “Phantom”

Charlotte Rutherford

Rina Sawayama – “Phantom”

Charlotte Rutherford

Next month, the futuristic pan-genre pop star Rina Sawayama will release her much-anticipated sophomore album Hold The Girl. Sawayama has already shared a handful of singles from the LP: “This Hell,” “Catch Me In The Air,” the title track. Now, with the album release looming, Sawayama has also shared a grand and vulnerable power ballad called “Phantom.”

On “Phantom,” Rina Sawayama goes for full-on lighters-up stadium-rock catharsis, complete with screaming guitars and big, wounded melodies. “Phantom” is a song about realizing that you’ve been putting too much energy into making other people happy and that the presence of other people in your life can be ephemeral. Sawayama recorded the song with two producers: her longtime collaborator Clarence Clarity and Stuart Price, who used to record as Les Rythmes Digitales and who’s made hits with people like Dua Lipa, Madonna, and the Killers.

In a press release, Sawayama says:

I realized as an adult that I have spent my whole life pleasing other people and not realizing it — constantly pushing my boundaries and not realizing the difference between what I wanted to do and what other people wanted from me. Through the lyrics in the verse, I’m trying to tell this story, and then in the choruses I’m morning the loss of my real self.

Listen to “Phantom” below.

Hold The Girl is out 9/16 on Dirty Hit.

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