Our Track by Track feature series gives artists a space to break down each song on their latest release. Today, Winona Oak takes us through her debut album, Island of the Sun.
Swedish songwriter Winona Oak returns today (June 10th) with her debut full-length album, Island of the Sun. After three years of growing her audience and releasing acclaimed singles, Island of the Sun stands as the artist’s first cohesive statement, summarizing her early period and hinting at what might be next.
Oak’s rise in the pop world was swift, aided by co-signs from internationally recognized artists. Spending her childhood in the rural town of Sollerön, she caught the attention of Australian electronic artist What So Not after signing her first record contract in Stockholm. The two collaborated on the tracks “Better,” “Stuck In Orbit,” and “Beautiful,” which were released under What So Not’s name with Oak being a featured artist.
Soon after, she once again collaborated with an established electro-pop act. This time around, she and the chart-topping duo The Chainsmokers co-wrote “Hope,” a tune that would go on to become certified gold.
Oak’s success is not solely based on the notoriety of other artists, however, as her strengths as a songwriter and performer shine through in each of her creative partnerships. The release of her debut single in 2019, “He Don’t Love Me,” confirmed her talents as a solo artist, further proving she was more than capable of carrying a song. Off the back of the single, Oak began fully embracing her voice as a songwriter, leading to a string of new songs and her first EP, Closure.
Now, with Island of the Sun, Oak comes fully formed. The album, which is titled after the nickname of her hometown, mixes previous highlights and new tracks, providing a full portrait of what Oak has to offer. It’s the result of a life-long pursuit of creative expression, a journey that spanned from Sollerön to Los Angeles.
“I grew up on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 5,360 miles from LA in the middle of the Nordic forests of Sweden on a small island called Sollerön, aka Island of the Sun,” Oak tells Consequence. “The island works as a metaphor for a place when everything’s peaceful and simple. Like that time in your childhood when the world is only as big and beautiful as you make it.”
With her first album out, Oak now looks to the road. She’s currently gearing up for her first-ever North American tour with Oh Wonder. She’ll then take on Europe with Alec Benjamin. You can grab tickets for both legs here.
Check out Island of the Sun below, followed by Oak’s Track by Track breakdown.