Jonathon Ng, or EDEN, is the kind of artist that every anxious, love-crazed and emotional college student needs in their life. Based in Ireland, the singer has journeyed all over the country on tour, from Los Angeles and San Francisco to Paris and Amsterdam. His most recent album, “I think you think too much of me,” was released in 2016, with each song having at least 4.5 million plays on Spotify.
At twenty-one-years-old now, EDEN is living life alongside the young adults of the world. He’s experiencing the same confusion, the same heartache and the same inner chaos. Somehow, the singer-songwriter puts words to this complicated stage of his existence. Yet his words aren’t just easily erased when the next electronic Justin Bieber song comes on—each song leaves a lasting, notable impression on your mind.
You could technically place EDEN’s music into the pop genre because of its techy sound, but nothing about him falls into the “Top 40” stereotype. Instead of singing about how beautiful his beloved is, he writes about a girl struggling to find herself and wondering what her unknown future holds. Rather than belting about a memorable night out on the town, he sings about escaping from the city that has entrapped him for so long.
EDEN has the most incredible rawness in his music—almost every song discusses some sort of battle within himself. In one of his most popular songs, “drugs,” he admits, “I can’t love when I can’t even love myself.” The line is so simple yet so vulnerable, expressing a blunt awareness of internal conflict. He even discovers his own incapacity to love without any hesitation or doubt in his mind; expressing his troubled romantic past is just one step of deeply exploring himself while additionally encouraging others to do the same.
As he continues to sing, “I just feel so tired / Like I need something to come alive,” the tempo of the song becomes chaotic yet is still beautifully composed. His sound is gloomy but still upbeat enough to feel a moment’s thrill in just one second, producing a fascinating combination of dim tension and spontaneous appreciation. There is nothing that represents the troubled soul more than such a perfectly messy arrangement—something that exists within a turbulent world but still shines amidst the darkness.
The honest lyrics confess that EDEN has suffered, and he’s endured an unbearable amount of agony. His voice gently screams of aching while whispering acceptance of his emotional state. The artist’s crisp execution of each note is praiseworthy itself, but none can deny the passion behind each word. With sentences that couldn’t be spontaneously produced in normal conversations, the song is a chapter of a long-awaited project. Throughout an extended period of time, EDEN patiently composed a descriptive analysis of his existence for others to experience. Such mature pain creates art, and there is nothing more beautiful than art that leaves you utterly speechless.
In “And,” the first line is “This is just another sad song / I can’t deny that I’ve been needing one.” When you regretfully find yourself listening to a slow ballad late at night, something in you craves to feel that sadness once more. EDEN doesn’t try to dodge such vulnerability, but rather embraces it and his internal desperation for emotion. He acknowledges humanity’s need to feel pain even after months of numbness, while simultaneously pointing to music as the prescription to the deep aching for further pain. To aid in this emotional epidemic, he makes his own art medicine for those who feel hopeless, alone and misunderstood.
Each piece is full of carefully written words, with the lyrics being especially heavy with metaphorical illustrations and confessions. As you sing along, you’re stepping into a mind that closely resembles your own. His admitted statements become yours, and you begin to take confidence in your current condition—not an unfulfilling arrogance, but rather a holistic consciousness of yourself. Instead of ignoring unwanted, melancholy feelings, EDEN breaks down all emotional barriers. Without any more suppressed thoughts, his mind seamlessly flows through abundant diction.
Perhaps his most stirring song is “End Credits,” in which he wishes to run away and forget about his current life. The instrumentals are thrilling and exhilarating, almost as if EDEN invites you to sprint next to him on an endless, open road. The pre-chorus addresses us as it includes, “Let’s get away from here / and live like the movies do.” As adolescents, we always innocently dreamt of running away to a distant adventure-land in a sunset movie scene. We soon discovered that films were only configured images and staged dialogue with little reliability. That small, naïve piece of us still struggles to fight back into our existence and hopes for reality to be those perfectly composed scenes.
EDEN invites our dreamy, childlike souls to be alive for this one song: A song that desperately pleas to run away from all struggles and unwelcome circumstances. In this new realm, the movies EDEN refers to are reality, and the heart breathes without bounds. Imagination becomes a lifestyle and an escape for the trapped souls in the world. For just a couple minutes, EDEN creates his own world full of hopeless dreamers who never found their place on Earth. By identifying himself as an imprisoned imaginer, he establishes an honest companionship with other troubled listeners.
Good artists create thrilling music that captures you for countless hours. Great artists write lyrics that inspire you to dream about the wonder-filled world around you. Exceptional artists, however, instill an overwhelming, deep understanding of who you are and what lies within your soul.
Whether it’s with a pounding melody or a softly sung note, EDEN merges his wounds and experiences with your own, cherishing all that comes with life: the hopelessness, the breathlessness, the curiosity and the fascination.