“EX” by Elvana Gjata, Bardhi and DJ Gimi-O

By: Bardh Krasniqi

We love it when our preferred artists decide to surprise us with multiple releases at the same time. Elvana Gjata just broke her two-week hiatus, releasing “EX”. The track is a collaboration with Albanian sensation, Bardhi, and Germany-based Kosovo-Albanian DJ Gimi-O. Upbeat and melodious, the track delivers a bouncy Balkan and Mediterranean-infused Albanian pop song over a pleasant and modern production. Friendly to both a Balkan and Western audience, “EX” is an anomaly of music that lures the listener in to continue exploring its oriental offerings. A cheerful love song, it’s lyrics are about a fusioning emotion of heartbreak, pain, misery, rejection, and loss.

“EX” kicks off with an uplifting intro from Bardhi. In it, he is doubtlessly within a nostalgic frame of mind, reiterating to his ex how much she loved him in the hope of getting her back. Elvana then continues to take the lead with her smooth and ardent vocals through the oriental-weaving drums of the first verse. She like-minded expresses her sorrow of love whilst asking her ex whether his heart hurts seeing her with another lover: “A po t’dhëmb zemra kur po m’sheh me tjetër ti/ Pishman ki m’u ba shumë mirë e di.” The drums and a moody bass build layer by layer before reaching the second verse, seamlessly combining Elvana’s frustrated disappointment with Bardhi’s incontrovertibleness, held together with a similar Middle Eastern-touched beat. It’s a great composition.

Moving on after a relationship is never easy. Despite the sadness, its lyrics tell us the best way to break from the shackles of a painful breakup is to face the situation instead of running away from it. It showcases the harsh realities and unpleasantness associated with getting over a love interest. Altogether, the lyrics of “EX” fit nicely into the cover featuring a drunk Kermit the Frog from the world-renowned Sesame Street holding a bottle of wine.

The colorful 90’s-inspired music video is all about having fun and embracing the start of summer, and dozens of young adults dance, party, and drink as Bardhi sings, “Po pi shumë, po du m’u deh.” Hello, summer. It is basically an enchanting private celebration, all partying in the gardens of a lovely, traditional mansion in Tirana and with both artists performing verses of their own. And, never one to disappoint, the fashion, varying from Gucci, Casablanca Paris and Louis Vuitton, is as amazing as the fans have come to expect. Coupled with the stunning fashion and vibrant atmosphere, the visual might be simulating what you would feel like if you drank too much and in the end realizes that it does not get better, as reflected by Elvana who appears to be in a trance and is dragged back to reality after seeing the crowd sleeping outdoors around her.

There’s a likeability to “EX” that builds throughout the track that by the end might make you want to sling this on repeat. We couldn’t resist its charm!

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