I’m a little late with this one, we were asked to run it on July 25th, which was the release date and also International IVF Day, but better late than never as they say, a phrase that is ironically apt here.
IVF Day marks 45 years since the birth of the world’s first test-tube baby, who was of course, Louise Brown, in my home town of Oldham, where I am right now writing this, and whose birth was ‘engineered’ by Doctor Patrick Steptoe who also delivered me into this world. Somebody had to.
So there’s something personal in it! (As I assume there may be for the songwriter.)
In ‘Alt for dig’ the Danish singer-songwriter Johanne (Jepsen),who debuts here as a solo artist, sheds some light on involuntary infertility. An unusual topic for a song but one which I am sure will resonate with many.
With ‘Alt for dig’ and the hashtag campaign #altfordig, Johanne launches a project that aims to create greater awareness of involuntary infertility and, most importantly, the physical and emotional toll it takes, through a series of releases and concerts.
She believes that we lack an artistic space where we can feel mirrored, relieved, and acknowledged in how harsh the experience of undergoing fertility treatment can be.
As it’s in Danish I can only report that “Johanne’s vocals convey both hope and hopelessness as she takes us through the lyrics, illustrating what it’s like to endure a grueling, lonely, and exhausting IVF journey—month after month, cycle after cycle, and year after year—all in the burning desire to have the child that is not yet there.”
Musically, there’s plenty to report. It’s vigorous and intense, with a heavy drum presence suggesting that the struggle is akin to a war. There’s lots of repetition, a metaphor perhaps for the interminable duration of that struggle while the recurring screams and cries point to the heartbreak of consistent failure.
At the same time it is surprisingly upbeat, almost reaching the status of a dance track towards the end and possibly indicative of the determination never to give in while there is hope.
It’s a powerful statement that should help dispel some of the myths and misunderstandings about what remains a taboo subject in some quarters, tastefully created and recorded, with the help of emerging producer Vakle (Pia Christensen).
A music video for the song will be released at a later date.
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