The Flavians – Is It Real

Berlin-based group The Flavians’ share their new song, ‘Is It Real’, a bright and radiant display of pop sensibilities.

Credit: Tobias Humble

Filled with nostalgia and longing for an unreal, mystical city, ‘Is It Real’ is about falling both in and out of love with a mystical place alien from your hometown, and the bittersweet feeling that sets in when it’s time to leave. 

A sunny acoustic guitar and tinkling piano both complement the high, ethereal vocals of Liam Blomqvist, which at times feels fragile and airy while having the slightest edge to it, an analogy almost for Los Angeles’ illusory beauty that glosses over all the grittiness and grime. The track personifies the town as a deceptively enchanting partner—as someone who seems more romantic and welcoming than they actually are, and who plants memories in the speaker’s mind of moments that never happened (“Recollecting words that you never told me”).

If it’s only just for show,” Blomqvist wonders, sensing this disconnect, “break the veneer.” ‘Is It Real’ is a bittersweet tale of how we romanticize our past and even present experiences, and of how we blur together fiction and reality, to the point that we have to ask ourselves, “Is it real if it doesn’t hurt?

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