Growing up in New Jersey is to live in the shadow of New York City. With arguably one of the greatest city’s in the world so close, yet so far, there’s almost a desperation to escape the small town suburbs of The Garden State to go soar among the high rises of the city that never sleeps. On her debut single, “Sirens,” Mia Giovina articulates this with the utmost delicacy, defending her love for the state she grew up in, while acknowledging that it’s no longer what she needs to grow.
The track starts with finger-picked acoustic guitar before Giovina’s airy vocal comes in detailing the push and pull relationship she has with wanting to leave, “If I make it out to New York / Will I miss the sunset drives?” From the sunset drives, to the old grocery, that she mentions in her verses, I can affirm as someone who called New Jersey home for seventeen years, that these details are the building blocks of the comfort you feel when living there, and are also the reasons that make it hard to leave. The accompanying video only adds to this, as Giovina switches between highlighting meaningful local spots, to sitting in an empty parking garage that may very likely be at a train station, with New York as the final destination.
As the song nears it’s end, she almost sounds like she’s pleading with New Jersey to forgive her for wanting to leave as she sings, “Cause I don’t hate Jersey / Ooooooooooah it’s not good for me.” This turns into a bridge of sorts in which we hear her trying to convince herself to leave as she repeatedly sings, “I’m not gonna stay / I’m gonna get away.” Though sirens are never actually mentioned in the song we hear them in the background of the first verse, expanding the environment Giovina has created for us. With this only being her debut, Giovina has done a tremendous job at creating a musical landscape with “Sirens,” leaving listeners to want more out of life.
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