88.9 Hey Radio, Zahna, and Me

Are you ready for the next installment of my series for 88.9 Hey Radio? Today I think we will go with dark emotion.


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I had never heard of Zahna. You probably haven't either. That's because Zahna didn't exist before 2017. Here's how she introduces herself on her website:

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Zahna is a female Christian Hard Rock solo artist based out of San Antonio, TX, and is also known as Suzy Martinez, the former front-woman of national touring band "ILIA". After separation with ILIA in 2016, Martinez debuted as Zahna in Mid 2017. Fusing gritty, industrial guitar riffs with technical drum elements, the San Antonio-based vocalist shines her aggressive vocal style, giving birth to the powerful active rock she now claims as her own.


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She was also married in late 2018, which means that she now has another name. Zahna is a woman of many names. Her first album was released in 2018 with Rockfest Records, "Red for War". There is one song of hers that has really been climbing the charts and I want to take a look at the lyrics to see what I can see. Here is "Drown".

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(Why?)
It was a frail dream now
A beautiful disease
Live or die, right by each other’s sides
Until you brought your gun up to my knife
Here we start the process to divide
Words and music become real life
The broken family, victims of pride

(So just go)
Go ahead find somebody new
Go and look for the love that you blew
(So just go)
Go find whatever you’re looking for
Go ahead and leave me here on the floor
(So just go)
Go take that step you say that you need
Go ahead let the world finally bleed
(So just go)
Go break and let it fall to the ground
Go ahead and just leave me to drown

You know that you’re a Runaway
I know you run from your problems
When you can’t find another way
You’re lost and you can’t resolve them
In your mind you’re satisfied
Exchanging truth for lies and biding time
But I will always be the one to take the blame for this, so remember what I said

(So just go)
Go ahead find somebody new
Go and look for the love that you blew
(So just go)
Go find whatever you’re looking for
Go ahead and leave me here on the floor
(So just go)
Go take that step you say that you need
Go ahead let the world finally bleed
(So just go)
Go break and let it fall to the ground
Go ahead and just leave me to drown

Runaway, Runaway, cut your words carefully
Justify, Justify, ‘cause it’s just like you
It’s so like you
It’s so like you
It’s so like you (justify, justify, you run away)
(Liar!)
It’s so like you (you justify, justify, you run away)
(Liar!)
It’s so like you (justify, justify, you run away)
Justify everything

(So just go)
Go ahead find somebody new
Go and look for the love that you blew
(So just go)
Go find whatever you’re looking for
Go ahead and leave me here on the floor
(So just go)
Go take that step you say that you need
Go ahead let the world finally bleed
(So just go)
Go ahead and just leave me to drown!

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Well, an emotionally intense and dark song, possibly a bit depressing. In general I get a feeling of working to accept closure and moving on from a broken relationship. I'm not going to dig too deeply here, but I think there is something more here.

Those first four lines set a beautiful picture, a beautiful scene. "(Why?) It was a frail dream now. A beautiful disease. Live or die, right by each other’s sides." I get it. I've been there. Living in a dream relationship that's more of a fantasy than a reality. When it's all falling apart you really are screaming why. I think most people with a bit of life experience probably can see this scene in their memories.

What happens next is a bit different. "Until you brought your gun up to my knife. Here we start the process to divide. Words and music become real life. The broken family, victims of pride." I don't fully get the gun and knife thing. Maybe it's a reference to bringing a knife to a gun fight. I guess it probably is. Those odd little phrases, called idioms, can be quite powerful, and this one is too. Or, it could be a more personal and more literal line. I'm not sure which. I guess we can probably assume it's metaphorical. But, the scene that pops into my mind when I listen to it is of a real gun and real knife. It's an intense moment.

These first eight lines really set the stage for the whole song, this is the substance. She paints this scene and she paints it well. The rest of the song is fallout from that scene.

Why is this connecting so strongly with people? I think it's because the scene is easy to picture, the scene is emotionally intense, a lot of people can relate to this emotionally intense scene, and they like the music too.

There's also something else here, possibly, maybe. It's hidden in the song. It isn't really stated. When you're telling someone to leave you're also telling them you don't need them. There is a secret strength hidden in the song saying "I will recover and be fine on my own. (After I get done temporarily drowning is my sadness)."

Do you see the same things as me? Do you like the song? Let me know.

Jeff Martin
JeffreyAlexanderMartin.com

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I've listened to that song a number of times while I've been thinking about writing this article. The more I listen to it the more it affects me. It's interesting how that works.

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