Premiere: Eden Iris, ‘The Love That Still Lives Here’

Eden Iris (Photo by Ko Zushi)

Singer-songwriter Eden Iris hails from New Zealand, where she first earned notice for her music when she was a teenager. Since relocating to Los Angeles, she’s released two EPs and a half-dozen singles and worked with some notable songwriters (including Maia Sharp, Iris’ collaborator on her latest single “Worse Things”).

She makes folk-pop with a cinematic sheen and evocative lyrics, and for her new single “The Love That Lives Here,” the songwriter turned her pen to the terrorist killings, and their aftermath, that wracked her home country in March 2019. The slayings at two mosques in Christchurch killed 51 and injured 49 others, devastating a nation unaccustomed to gun violence.

Accordingly, “The Love That Lives Here” is a most solemn meditation, with Iris’ airy vocals trying to grasp seemingly elusive hope in a cloud of tragedy. It is no surprise to learn that the song began while Iris was floating herself, in a jetliner.

“The song started out as a poem which I wrote on a red-eye flight from Los Angeles to Auckland, New Zealand,” she says. “I was going home to visit my family. I was also flying out just two days after the Christchurch Mosque Shootings, the tragedy which shook our nation and the rest of the world. The ride over was incredibly somber. I remember looking out the tiny cabin window and seeing the most beautiful clouds. And then somewhere over the Pacific Ocean, I was struck by an overwhelming feeling of grief.

“So I wrote the poem on the final descent down into South Auckland, just to process everything … I arrived in sunny Napier, Hastings, on Friday morning and attended a memorial service on the waterfront with my family the next day. The love and compassion expressed by everyone was so inspiring – it truly moved me, and, I think, the rest of the world. At the end of the day, love will win.”

“The Love That Lives Here,” which is officially out of Friday, is part of a two-a-month song cycle that will culminate is the release of Iris’ debut album this summer.

||| Stream: “The Love That Still Lives Here”

||| Also: Stream “Worse Things,” “Birthday Baby” and “Dancing With a Ghost”