CMA Awards 2018

Ember Island Comes to Life in 'Stay & Need You' Video: Exclusive Premiere

Kira Blaker
Ember Island

You've heard of concept albums, but what about a concept band?

Ember Island is a Swedish electro-pop group that heretofore made their name on big covers from Radiohead's “Creep” to Porter Robinson's “Sad Machine.” On Tuesday (Aug. 15), the band stepped out of the shadow of others and into a world of its own creation. The release of a forthcoming EP introduces fans not only to Ember Island's original sound, but also to a place where the music conjures characters and adventures in the listener's mind.

"We want Ember Island to be a magical place,” the group says in a joint emailed statement. “Everything we are creating is meant to make you feel like you have an escape, and that you can truly create whatever you want to. Ember Island is for everyone, not just for ourselves. We would like for people to make 'Ember Island' into whatever they need it to be.”

The self-titled EP will introduce fans to three main characters, themselves representative in some fashion of Ember Island members Didrik and Joakim and singer, Alex. The stories and landscapes of the mythical concept of Ember Island will all be explored in a series of music videos, the first of which is premiering here exclusively with Billboard and comes in the form of two lead singles, “Stay" and "Need You," rolled into one. The video is an exploration of Alex's character. In the clip, we watch as the singer attempts to reconnect with the girl she used to be.

“The characters go on a journey through a few landscapes on 'Ember Island,'” the duo explains, “and we begin to understand and feel what Alex's character is like. Is the young girl a version of herself? Is she even real or is Alex interacting with a reflection of her past? This video is about the idea of holding on to a piece of yourself and not wanting to leave or lose that. Sometimes we know that we must let go, but it's never an easy thing to do so."

The snowy environment must mirror Alex's own hometown. “Stay & Need You” is cinematic and touching. It's visuals match the song's airy, emotional tone. It's a solid start to what ought to be an interesting sequence.

The full EP is set for release Wednesday, Nov. 15. More videos are scheduled to arrive in the months to come. Warm yourselves to the concept and watch “Stay & Need You” below, exclusively on Billboard Dance