Honor The Light - EP
Zara Larsson leans into the frosty magic of winter with Honor the Light, a compact EP of seasonal songs to celebrate Sweden’s traditional Lucia festival, which commemorates the legend of Sankta Lucia (Saint Lucy) with a candlelit procession. Larsson forgoes the usual holiday trappings here—twinkling chimes, jingle bells, effusive cheer—alternating between warm, ruminant chords and icy, minimalist orchestration for her fresh takes on some old classics. Distant, humming vocalizations transform the melancholy of Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson’s delicate folk duet, “Winter Song,” into something more wistful and haunting, while shades of ’80s R&B sharpen the earnest edges of “Light a Candle,” making the optimistic anthem a joy to listen to in both English and, on “Tänd Ett Ljus,” the original Swedish. The true spirit of the season, however, is captured in the somber nostalgia of the EP’s sole original track, “Memory Lane.” Cowritten with fellow Swede Klara Söderberg of First Aid Kit, the glitchy, hymn-like midtempo resonates with both gladness and regret as Larsson reminisces about years gone by. Evergreen in the absence of any overt nods to the festive season, it nonetheless stirs that innate sense of sentimentality unique to the end of the year, giving Larsson an opportunity to claim a cherished moment of her own amid the ones she has borrowed.