Billionaire Ken Griffin ’89 Breaks with DeSantis on ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Expansion Amid Criticism at GSAS


Graduating Harvard Seniors Receive Diplomas at ‘Heartwarming’ House Ceremonies


President Bacow Bids Farewell to Harvard, Confers 1,850 College Degrees at 372nd Commencement


‘How to Survive the Fall in Three Easy Steps’: Michelle Yeoh Addresses the Harvard Law School Class of 2023


As it Happened: Harvard Commencement 2023

Floor Jansen’s ‘Daydream’ Single Review: How Music Awakens Us

4 Stars

Floor Jansen released the single 'Daydream' on Feb. 24
Floor Jansen released the single 'Daydream' on Feb. 24 By Courtesy of Floor Jansen / ADA Warner Music Group
By Larissa G. Barth, Crimson Staff Writer

“Shake me back into this world / the daydreams are over,” sings Dutch singer-songwriter Floor Jansen in her new single “Daydream,” taken from her upcoming debut album “Paragon.” The song portrays the isolation many felt during the Covid-19 pandemic and compares this loneliness to a daydream in which nothing is tangible. The track then slowly turns into a rock ballad, offering an ode to the power of music to awaken us and connect us with others and with ourselves. Its lyrical complexities and dynamic instrumentals artfully explore themes of seclusion and hope.

“This song is very personal to me, as it was written during the pandemic lockdown when I felt like I had lost track of myself,” Jansen stated in the description of the song’s YouTube video. The lead singer of the acclaimed Finnish symphonic metal band Nightwish debuted as a solo artist in 2020, and many of the songs she has released since then touch on the desire to regain a zest for life amidst the numbing days of the pandemic. Though Covid lies in the background of these songs, feelings of losing one’s sense of self are certainly not limited to this time period.

The song starts with a delicate piano instrumental and a set of questions which underscore the fragility of the song’s first half: “Do you see me when you close your eyes? / Do you hear me when the noise dies out? / Do you feel me when the silence hits all the walls built around you?” Jansen depicts isolation as a disorienting numbness of the senses or an overwhelming silence.

Throughout the song, the identities of the speaker and listener are ambiguous. It is possible that the pre-pandemic Jansen is singing to her present self in the first part of the song: “Everything I say and do can't touch you / Everything I am and feel can’t reach you / A daydream from a time went by.” The feeling of unbridgeable isolation and numbness is illustrated through the metaphor of a daydream, sonically underscored by echo and reverb, as well as breathy vocals.

The instrumentation fades, essentially abandoning Jansen, who sings in her stunning, quivering head voice, “Do you hear that? / Do you hear me? / Do you hear me, my voice?” Strings join a subsequent repetition of these lyrics, resulting in an almost otherworldly atmosphere in which a Jansen “from a time went by” hopes to save and reconnect with herself in the present moment.

The pandemic must have been particularly challenging for a musician like Jansen, who lost the opportunity to perform live, thereby taking away a significant part of her identity. But even though she can’t “hear” anything around her anymore, the voice as an inherent instrument ultimately saves her from the engulfing silence, because it connects her internal reality with the external world.

As the song continues, it slowly grows more confident, and the addition of percussion and an electric guitar coincides with a shift in melody and tone. In her powerful chest voice, Jansen sings, “Wake me / I was lost inside my heart / Wake me / It’s over / Wake me / Shake me back into this world / The daydreams are over.” The lyrical shift from questions to declarative statements marks a change in character, as present Jansen expresses her desire to wake up from the daydreams and memories of the better past to finally live again in “this world.”

After a short moment of doubt — “Do you hear me?” she sings — where her fragile head voice and the dream-space returns, the song charges right back into its powerful rock motif, this time adding even more instrumentation. Although the tempo doesn’t change much, the song feels much faster now due to the percussion, vocal riffs, and variations on the melody in a higher register. Similarly, even though one hears the same lyrics (“Wake me” and “Do you hear me?”), the bold, hopeful tone seems to have shifted their intended audience to Jansen’s listeners.

While her voice first let her find a way back to herself, she is now able to pass on this energy and comfort to her listeners. The heart-warming comments on the song’s YouTube video confirm that she has indeed reached her fans with the remedial power of her voice and artistry: “We hear you, Floor!”

— Staff writer Larissa G. Barth can be reached at

Want to keep up with breaking news? Subscribe to our email newsletter.