Still Woozy’s latest single “Window” is more than music

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Ami (@aktuallycooks on Instagram)

Still Woozy, Sven, had this cover art for "Window" drawn by his talented girlfriend.

I hate silence. It’s something I’ve always hated, something I avoid—for better or worse, or whatever that means. It feels undeniably foreign to me; I’m set on edge when the brick wave that silence feels like drowns me, blindsiding me when Spotify malfunctions.

This fiery fear has made me appreciate sound, cherish music, and truly feel it. I’ve learned to love music for all of the senses it sets alight, from color to ghostly goosebumps.

Still Woozy, an independent artist whose real name is Sven and is an artist I have listened to and loved for years now, has always been one of those artists who makes music that gives those previously state goosebumps—an artist who breaks down the barrier between the screen and sound. His music reaches beyond the speakers to embody a space greater than time.

And with his latest single “Window,” he did that again.

He made two minutes and nineteen seconds feel like an hour, like a year, like a transcendence through time itself. Not to quote Michelle Obama, but “Girl, you have done it again. Constantly raising the bar for us all and doing it flawlessly. I’d say I’m surprised, but I know who you are.” (Thank you, Twitter and Tiktok, for popularizing that).

Michelle couldn’t have said it better. I don’t think I can either.

“Window” starts off with no hesitation, sounding a deep, muffled “Uhhh, okay” into my echoing room for a split second before the beat overrides. It’s louder than usual, not subdued like Still Woozy’s previous dream-pop songs, yet it remains controlled as an unidentifiable motley of instruments sets up a new tone in his music repertoire.

In just that twelve-second beginning—no singing yet, no soft entrance typical of his past songs—I could tell this single was going to be different. No sound was diluted or faded to send the listener down a sleepy tunnel; instead, the start of “Window” reminded me more of his 2019 songs “Lava” and “Ipanema” from his EP Lately, dancing towards their funk-pop approach and leaving a visual of Saturday night club.

Twelve seconds into “Window” is when Still Woozy’s voice smoothly saunters into the song, owning each note, owning this new sound, owning his space in the musical sphere of Spotify. And it’s hard to describe the change in his sound. It’s not exactly new or different or contrasting to his previous work as he veers away past singles.

It’s an evolution.

“Window” is Still Woozy uncovering more of himself and his musical talent. He’s displaying his distinct growth from mellow 2017 “Goodie Bag” and upbeat Lately without turning his back on them.

His voice is still tempered as he sings to a “you,” maintaining the style of those past songs. And his style remains smooth. Peppering his words with emphasized vowels and tantalizing tilts, the song moves about my ears like a game that I can never win—a prize I can never touch. Blooms of magenta and teasing turquoise move about my eyes.

It begs to be savored with all of those liquid elements, and I am grateful to do so.

A simple switch occurs when he sings out “I’m running out of options/ You’re running through my mind with a shotgun” that makes me stop. Anticipation builds in the song as he sings of this girl, the “you” who I presume to be his girlfriend (who is lovely and featured numerous times on his Instagram). His words start to spin together as he sings of loving what’s underneath her, and that restrained reversal of his diction could easily be overlooked in those lyrics. Yet it’s so minute and somewhat buried that it makes the song even more beautiful—even more focused on that hidden love.

It’s those clandestine elements that make me feel the song; I can taste the guitar, the lyrics, the authenticity as if I was the one singing. Each enunciation is perfectly placed to the beat, and he pops the word “closer” to the natural emphasis in the beat to keep the momentum moving—to keep the colors swirling in front of me.

And as much as the chorus makes me want to dance to his heightened voice, I also want to chew on the words, analyze what they mean.

It is duality, diversity, divulgence—it’s art.

“Window” is art more than it is a song, more than it is lyrics, more than it is guitar chords. Because art makes you feel. It keeps you “chained” on the mountain of emotions he story-telling sings of.

Like when the beat calms at 1:36 and Still Woozy repeats “So I might die” for the second time, elongating it more and more each time to artfully orchestrate a stronger landing of “If I got one thing right it was you and me.” It’s that timing, that emphasis I cannot get over no matter how annoying I sound talking about it over and over again.

Maybe he slows to think more of his words, to swish them around his mouth before they slip out onto the track. Or maybe they’re putty he pauses the mold, to feel, before allowing the listener to hear.

Yet he doesn’t dwell on them, doesn’t mold or swish too long, and he moves on with the song as instruments—honestly, I cannot identify any for the life of me—move back in around 1:56. As much as I know that his lyrics are planned and his notes are carefully thought through, every moving part of the song melodically muses that it’s not, that instead it’s all organic.

So when the song fades out and comes to its end after two minutes and nineteen seconds, I feel whole.

This single came with mounting anticipation and bundles of hype as Still Woozy only has one EP and six singles out, yet I could have never expected this from “Window.” I never expected a change or the bouncing colors or the slippery lyrics or the peaceful appreciation that fell upon me.

I never expected such an honest exploration of love and evolution in art from Still Woozy, but I should have, for “Window” is everything I never knew I needed.