Many a writer has tried to define home. Not just the physical location of home, of one’s origins, of one’s bloodline, but the safety, the comfort, the ease that accompanies being home. On “STOCKHOLM,” Swedish artist HENRIKES paints a picture of the track’s titular city, from which she hails, in broad, watercolor strokes that highlight her hometown’s idiosyncracies and capture the unique contentment that the city brings her.
“I want to show you my home,” sings HENRIKES a few lines into the first verse of “STOCKHOLM,” and over the song’s four minutes, she manages to do exactly that. HENRIKES narrates no small number of Stockholm phenomena and characteristics: ice melting, days getting longer, summer approaching, water surrounding everything, temperatures rising, sun hitting skin, snow falling in April and silencing the city. “It can be hard to live here,” she laments as the second verse closes, but she says so lovingly, the way that most people speak of their homes. For all the parts of a home one wishes to improve, home is still a personal haven, a location uniquely capable of healing, enlightening, and even educating.
Yet every way in which HENRIKES, over her minimal but galloping palette of eighth-note guitars, mechanical snaps, blurrily bleating synths, and vastly echoing percussive gallops, depicts her city could easily describe other settings. Stockholm is far from the only place in which, as a year passes, ice melts, temperatures change, and days vary rin length. Her descriptive choices are intentional: “STOCKHOLM” exists to highlight that, though the titular city means the world to her, her relationship to her homeland parallels that which many people have to their places of origin. Even in the song’s music video, which depicts HENRIKES and Stockholm in their many, often intertwined forms, the city appears to share traits with many other locations despite exuding its own special charm. Such is the magic of HENRIKES’ songwriting: She can make anything feel like home.