Thea & The Wild Breaks Through New Single “Rip Tide”

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

After giving birth to her first child and leaving the city life of Oslo for the countryside, Norwegian singer and songwriter Thea Glenton Raknes, who goes by Thea & The Wild, was prompted to start writing her upcoming third album, and revelatory single, “Rip Tide.”

Following up on her second release, Ikaros, in 2018, Raknes was inspired by her new setting. “A lot of new things—a new place, new neighbors, new loneliness, new situations, new life … my songwriting is pretty much an ongoing process all the time with ideas and demos trickling in so to speak,” Raknes tell American Songwriter. 

Filling her phone with “notes” of lyrics, Raknes began working off a selection of demos at her home studio at the beginning of 2020 and ended up with a collection of new songs. “I always work best under pressure, and that allows the lyrics to be fresh to me,” shares Raknes. “I get to rework ideas that have matured, and the songs and ideas get new life and fit into my current life situation in a way. “

Driven by an anthemic electric-pop melody, “Rip Tide” peers into Raknes’ personal struggle around negative thoughts, her vocals piercing into contemplative lyrics Oh when my days are like nights, I am the enemy / The same wave bringing me in / Is pulling me back out.

Sitting in her car one day, Raknes remembers a sense of pure elation falling over her, a feeling she wanted to capture instead of “the worrying, sensible and angsty Thea,” which she decided to “remove” in the Rip Tide video, directed by Nikolai Grasaasen.

“I imagined kidnapping her and throwing her off a cliff at first,” says Raknes. “That inspired the video, and as I talked to the director and explained what I wanted style-wise we realized we both loved the look of the series Better Call Saul, that slightly eerie crime retro style mixed with a bit of humor and nordic noir so that’s what we went for.”

To bring to life the darker scenario in her mind, Raknes borrowed a pickup from her neighbor, which was used to shoot the video in two days; another neighbor drove the “getaway” car. “We also decided that actually killing ‘Thea 2’ off would be the easy way out,” adds Raknes, “so we made a different ending where they have to co-exist.” 

“Rip Tide” folds perfectly into Raknes’ upcoming music, a collection of stories circling more around her own evolution.

“A lot of the record is about transitions, becoming an adult (or maybe refusing to), about fragile mental health and searching for an identity, how to deal with the ups and downs in life and relationships, wondering if you’re good enough, about imposter syndrome in life,” shares Raknes. “More specific in ‘Rip Tide’ [is] the downside of being such a bloody emotional creative person.”

For Raknes, who earned a Spellemann nod, the equivalent of a Grammy in Norway, in 2018, writing is a chaotic, and often random exercise with the singer often piecing together a song together quickly from a collection of snippets of words and phrases. “Quite often the lyrics aren’t finished until much later though,” says Raknes. “I keep thinking I should try to be more organized about it and set aside time to just write and be as efficient or professional about it as I can be … but I don’t think you can make creativity too organized.”

Now raising two small children, Raknes has to deliberately plan trips to get away and write and is currently set to visit the nearby Faroe Islands on one of these songwriting pilgrimages.

“Somedays, I worry that I’ll just freeze and not write anything,” shared Raknes. “I worry a lot—that’s just me—but like I said I work well under pressure and I’ve always been able to make a lot of melodies and ideas really quick when I’ve tried co-writing for example, so it’s an exciting time.”

Photo: Magdalena-Malinowska / Present PR

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