'wish I didn't know you - bed version': Acoustically amazing

shy martin's 'wish I didn't know you - bed version' lays original to rest.

Upon first listen, wish I didn’t know you (2022) could easily blend in as another sad ballad among the homogeneity of 3am heartbreak anthems. However, once combined with the additional emotive tug of the ‘bed version’, the song develops a deeper sense of life.

Sara Hjellström, more popularly known as shy martin or ‘shy’, is a 29-year-old Swedish-born singer and songwriter. Currently the mother of two albums - ‘Sad Songs’ (2020) and ‘Overthinking’ (2018) - the artist is back in a subtle way, with the release of her first track after a year-long hiatus.

'wish I didn’t know you' was first released across streaming platforms on 14 October, 2022, before being re-released acoustically with a new MV on 10 November. From the titles of shy’s previous albums, it remains unsurprising to see another sad song added to her discography. Although, this appears to be a niche navigated well – mostly.

The initial release for 'wish I didn’t know you' sounded, and looked, confused. From the way it was sung in an A-key with shy walking through fields of flowers, to the use of an out-of-place ukulele, the songwriter appeared to try too hard in attempting to be “ethereal” rather than leaning into her strength of articulating vulnerability. This girl is talented, but sometimes trying to push away from the conventions of “sad songs'' makes them too juxtaposing. Too detached from the tone necessary to set in order to get listeners in their feels and pockets, searching for tissues.

Envision this same field, except with a bed sat in the middle. Instead of the rays of golden-hour hitting your face as before, you are surrounded by the ambience of evening birds. A day ending. 

Close your eyes as you lay down, taking in the mellow notes of an octave-lower piano tune – not that of the questionable ukulele. Now, tell me this doesn’t hit differently.

The crying-at-3am connotation of when people listen to “sad songs” may sound stereotypical, but for many people it holds true. This makes the ‘bed version’ MV accompany the song perfectly. In the ‘bed version’, shy meets us right there at our most fragile and, alongside us, pours out her heart. We witness her rawness, playing the acoustic tune from the bed, as if symbolic of the soundtrack to a sleepless night.

None of this is anything new, aside from the exact song itself. Numerous other artists have either sat on or by a bed in ballad MVs, such as Taylor Swift in ‘Back To December’ (2010) and Sody in decade-later ‘is your bedroom ceiling bored?’ (2020). Nonetheless, for fans of the genre, this acoustic track won’t fail to bring your deep thoughts on.

An assortment of shots spice up the would-have-been monotony of staring at the same scene for three straight minutes, and it’s much appreciated. The camera floats as opposed to moves, taking its time to linger on the scene in possible replication of these lingering thoughts. Slow, but it doesn’t feel boring. Hmm.

Overall, 'wish I didn’t know you (bed version)' is a nostalgia-inducing release. It ticks the box of what one would hope for or expect from a heartbreak ensemble, whilst exerting extra effort in its successful attempt to captivate listeners. Is it the most stand-out piece of its kind to exist? No. Does it overly try to be or ultimately need to be? Not really.

Header Image Credit: Hassan Ouajbir


Ciéra Cree

Ciéra Cree Contributor

Ciéra Cree is a 23-year-old Media/Magazine Journalism scholarship graduate with a passion for creativity. She has undertaken many creative endeavours including becoming a Poet Laureate, being highly commended by The Royal Society of Literature and running a publication (The Ruskin Journal). As someone philosophically minded, Ciéra enjoys the abstract and interpreting deeper meanings from works.

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