Setting a soulful and sombre tone, JONAH unveil their brand new single “Running Away” with a visual that tugs at the heartstrings. Shot during an extended stay in LA, the music video focuses on the path of two lovers who free themselves from isolation and find solace in each others company — only for one of them to be deserted all over again. Blending visual and audible art, the effort tackles themes of betrayal, loneliness and poor mental health. While JONAH pours their unique introspection into every bar, “Running Away” highlights the raw vulnerability and touching simplicity of saying “I am not okay”.
Lending their dreamy vocals to a floating ballad, the track itself is a perfectly mixed cocktail of soft guitar strings and warm synth pads, creating a melancholic tune fit for a rolling credits scene. As an ethereal soundscape is built through a sprawling production, the Berlin-based duo’s vocals draw in and out of focus — as if the artists themselves are “Running Away” within their sound.
To celebrate the release of the single and music video, we spoke with JONAH about the meaning behind the ambiguous ending, and how their stay in Los Angeles influenced the track. To stream “Running Away” and to read the full interview, scroll below…
Hey JONAH! How are you both doing?
Thanks, we´re doing good!
Let’s start at the beginning, how did you two meet?
We met as young kids on the school yard in a snowball fight. We were in different classes in elementary school in our small town and were having snowball fights in lots of schoolyard breaks in the winter. There weren’t many different things to do other than having fun by just playing outside, and so we did.
And what sparked you to create JONAH?
The spark to start making music was for us when the grunge movement started. The music of Nirvana and Pearl Jam were so pure, honest and authentic, it was different from all the other music that was around at that time. We wanted to make music with the same approach, to write songs as personal and honest as we can.
Can you tell us what your creative process looks like when writing your songs?
The creative process is very different from song to song. Mostly we play around with a new idea only with acoustic guitar & vocals and record it with our iPhone the moment it is created. There are a lot of recordings with the iPhone in our final recordings of the songs. What matters most to us is that there has to be something in the idea of the song that speaks to us.
Congratulations on the release of “Running Away”! What was going through your minds when you created this track?
Thanks! There are moments in your life when nothing is like it used to be. Everything just changes from one minute to the next. The song is about a very painful and formative situation and trying to deal with your inner turmoil.
And it comes with a pretty emotional music video. What was the inspiration behind the visual? What do you hope people will take from it?
The images for the video were already in my head when we were writing “Running Away” and helped to shape the song. So the video was an important part of the writing process right from the start. We hope that the people can connect to the song and video as much as we do.
The song and video were created while staying in Los Angeles, do you think this influenced your creativity in any way?
Yeah, definitely. Our time in Los Angeles was so intense and had a really special vibe that had a huge impact on the songs and this song in particular. It was clear to us that we had to shoot the video in Los Angeles, too.
And finally, what is next for JONAH? What are you most excited for this year?
We will release the first part of our album this spring and can’t wait to share the songs. And we are planning a collaboration, but unfortunately we can’t talk more about it yet.