Welcome to Pass the Aux, where KQED Arts & Culture brings you our favorite new tracks by Bay Area artists. Check out past entries and submit a song for future coverage.
As the first song on Ruin, the latest EP from Oakland singer Oona, “Don’t Look Down” had already gotten a few plays around my house before this past Tuesday, effectively working as nice background music.
Then came Wednesday morning, after the second-deadliest school shooting in America. The world should be stopping after the violent deaths of 19 children, but instead I was driving into work. I decided to play the song again, listening close this time.
I know that moments of despair can open one’s heart wide to any possible beauty, and magnify it, even exaggerate it. But Oona’s distant, cracking voice filled the car, and her words about broken hearts and lost innocence and fallen tears hit me right in the gut, the way only the perfect song at the perfect time can do.