I first heard most of the songs from the Selfless album in the spring of 2020, when Ivana performed at the beginning of the lockdown, in the Enchanted Swamp event. That evening she revealed to us that we have her, Billie Joan, a singer-songwriter whose time has come. Singer-songwriter, born to be just that. To give her songs to the world, to give herself to us. And we need that so much. With each new song she played that night, and she only played new songs, she revealed to us another, new part of her soul. And another one. And each part rests on an ever greater truth. Her truth. Which is so beautiful, which no longer has a single layer on it, and then it becomes ours as well.
The topics she sings about on the Selfless album are really raw, some of them are difficult for the average listeners to digest, they are “too much” for them. Some songs are such that, a part of the nation might want to put her on the cross if they really understood English and managed to hear Ivana in mainstream media, because she exposed some of the lies they live and feed to new generations. These are topics which we know well ourselves, that love, in its splendor, just dying… And everything it brings with it, all the nuances of one washed out color… There are more stories on the album, and I don’t want it to be too much for this mini review of the album… I’m calm because I know that those who are willing to hear it, will really hear it.
Selfless album carried me through rarely visited depths. Ivana’s songs have the power to stop the world, make me wonder many things, and give me strength in search of some more personal illusions, and maybe push me towards the final confrontation, who knows… The sincerity of her every tact, awakens indescribable beauty in me that I like to call love too. The state of giving in. And then everything is as it should be.
Ivana sings in an unusual way, a bit rude and provocative, very direct, sovereign and unique. It’s as if she’s reliving her stories in front of me again, and standing without any fear, facing everything again… And that’s why it pays to stop, stop and listen to these songs. People who stand upright against fears should be our inspiration, real role models, teachers and influencers (what an ugly word), the time dedicated to their stories is a great use of time, and that is why I hope that Selfless album will find its way to everyone for whom it is intended.
Let us take off our masks, and finally admit that the only thing we cry out for, and need to long for in these bodies with an expiration date, is the truth. The truth, which smiles on us and bathes in its beauty. And that truth is that these songs are in front of us, on this album. A truth that creates beauty in the souls of those who listen to it. Which also encourages us to seek our truth. Of course, only if we have enough courage in the moment to go in that direction…
Nina Romić is one of the most influential and respected songwriters of the younger generation in Croatia, and you can find out more about her and her work by cliking this link.