Women in Music 2019

Eden Iris Practices Gratitude On Hopeful 'Worse Things': Exclusive

Jes Harlen
Eden Iris

Eden Iris is talking to herself as much as she is her listeners with her new single "Worse Things," which Billboard premieres exclusively today (Nov. 19).

The New Zealand singer-songwriter, who moved to Los Angeles four years ago, tells Billboard that the track she co-wrote with Maia Sharp is about personal problems -- or, more accurately, about dealing with them and keeping them in perspective.

"It's about remembering that way worse things have happened to other people than me," Iris explains. "A lot of really bad things happen to good people, and you lose sight of that sometimes. It can be so easy to take a comfortable life for granted and obsess or stress over small stuff. So that's kind of the concept of the song. I'm definitely talking to myself, like, 'Come on, just appreciate the good things you have.' It reminds me to practice gratitude when I sing it."

Iris adds that "Worse Things" was inspired in part by her upbringing, particularly family hikes -- known as tramping in New Zealand. "I remember feeling insignificant in the grandiosity of the universe when we would camp out and have the starry night to ourselves," Iris recalls. “There's a line in the song, 'big sky, keep letting me know instead of crying me a river, bringing in the violins' which is probably my favorite line to sing. And [the lyric] 'bringing the violins' is about having yourself a pity party when things aren't working out. It reminds me to practice gratitude and grateful for all the blessings I have in my life when I sing it."

Iris says she was "starry eyed" to work with Sharp, who's writing credits include the Dixie Chicks, Trisha Yearwood, Kathy Mattea, Cher and others. "I was like, 'She worked with the Dixie Chicks! Omigosh, this is amazing!'" Iris remembers. "I happened to meet her and went over to her place, and the track came together pretty organically in her studio. It was pretty special."

"Worse Things" is the first of a series of new singles Iris plans to unveil into the middle of 2020, when she'll be releasing a full-length album. "This will let people get into the story behind each song and give each one a chance to have a life of its own," she says.

Iris describes her other material as "in the indie folk/pop that's my roots. Some will be more rocking, but I've been playing a lot of them for years, and if the stories resonate with me and they're worthy, then they'll come out."

Listen to “Worse Things” below.


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