In only one hundred and six words, Ingrid Serban lays out an entire story of transformation parallel to the seasons changing. Bound in simplicity, leaves shift from falling off the tree and growing back in a brighter color is inevitable. It happens despite the external forces. The process may be painful, but it happens anyway.
In the serene month of December, the air is crisp and the trees are bare with winter’s frost. It’s quiet, calm and steady. However, with tranquility comes loneliness, and in the first verse Serban captures this feeling through the raw lyricism of enduring the winter months alone.
“I sit and wait for you to call” // “Nobody knows I’m here”
The piano serves as the main melody backed up by a wistful whistle, and her voice is simple and soft. The tone is almost like she’s talking in the dark to fill up the silence because she’s fearful that the person she wants is not going to do so. This opens up a layer of intimacy and projects her emotional vulnerability. She’s longing for something and seems lost without it. The chorus is consistent in long measures of her vocalizing the same notes. This symbolizes the time passing between the first verse and the second. And while she’s still waiting for a call, she’s trying to fill the void around her with any noise that can take up space.
In the second verse, she admits that her “heart is not that clever to see right through all the lies” as the hollow promises she was told fade into the night. Her hope disappears once she realizes the reality of her situation. She has to face the evening by herself again and it’s slowly becoming obvious the person she desires is not meant for her. However, now it’s a new season and the leaves are turning green. In the serene months of spring, the air is more welcoming and the trees are budding with warm sunlight. After time has passed, she understands she has to go. Similar to how she repeats the words twice in the first verse, “I’m all alone”, she switches to “I’m not alone” in the second verse, finally accepting the terms that she’s not alone anymore.
Once her situation changed, the ambiance in the music changed as well. A layer of harmonies is added once we reach the chorus again along with a subtle drum beat signifying she gained someone she can depend on; herself. Especially towards the last thirty seconds of the song, there’s a subtle change in the playing of the piano compared to the beginning of the song. Despite it being the exact tune, the piano bounces a little more playfully, emphasizing the beginning of the note. It doesn’t hold on to the last note, dragging it on longer than it should, because Serban isn’t desperately trying to hold on to something anymore either. Through these small subtle changes, it musically creates a feeling of development. The feelings of doubt, suffering and anxiety are gone like winter. She sings about packing her bags, closing the door and finally leaving.
Serban recognizes the need for the change and in this song, she obtains her peace by realizing what she truly deserves.