Premiere: Onsen, ‘Golden Heart’

Onsen (Photo by Brandon Andrew)

Onsen is the persona of Drew Straus, a songwriter who launched a second career in music after graduating magna cum laude from Penn in international relations. As Onsen, his adroitly crafted synth-pop is the stuff of personal relations, as his airy vocals and cinematic production frame his often melancholic negotiations with heartache.

Onsen debuted in 2016 with the album “Earthquake Weather,” teamed up with former CalArts pal Harmless (aka Nacho Cano) to release an EP as Elio in 2019 and followed with two singles, (the Sia-endorsed) “Charming Nights” and “The March” that elevated his pop game.

Today, Onsen unveils “Golden Heart,” a gently throbbing ballad that fairly soars over a tricky 11/13 time signature. It was co-produced by Brook D’Leau, who earned a Grammy nomination for his work with Miguel. And as confessionals go, it’s a warm farewell hug for a cold heart.

“I wrote this when I found out that a long-term partner was starting to see someone new,” Onsen says. “In that moment it’s easy to question every choice you made in the relationship and to wonder if you might want them back. At the very least, it’s the moment a breakup feels definitive. As such, this song is an unexpected emotional upwelling, a mix of wistfulness and gratitude for what you had.”

||| Stream: “Golden Heart”

||| Also: Stream “The March”

||| Also: Watch the video for “Charming Nights”