On “Tunnel Vision”, Zoya Zafar crafts an ethereal world; one where every glance becomes a longing gaze, and where fleeting moments linger long past their time. With her roots in Lahore and her heart in Florida, Zafar draws from the confluence of cultures, crafting a sound that is as mesmerizing as it is relatable.
Zafar, in collaboration with Max Helgemo, taps into the delicate realm of dream-pop, a choice that feels more than apt for a song that speaks of obsession and an undying, even blinding love. The ambiance created by her gentle vocals paired with the song’s cascading instrumentals transport listeners to a space of nostalgia — a realm where the world is seen only through the lens of desire.
The repeated lyric, “Tunnel Vision, I only see you,” encapsulates the song’s essence. It’s a poetic representation of love’s overpowering grasp — an emotional pull so strong that it blurs everything outside its range. This sentiment finds echoes in some of the finest works of her contemporaries like Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus, but Zafar’s rendition feels distinct, colored by her unique experiences and perspectives.
“Real love, real love”, she serenades, weaving between the dichotomies of love’s authenticity and its illusions. Through the lens of “Tunnel Vision”, the song questions the nature of love itself. Is it real, or merely a transient escapade? A bittersweet quest for paradise that one doesn’t quite believe in? These are questions Zafar doesn’t answer directly, leaving listeners to confront and interpret their own emotions and past loves.
The raw vulnerability evident in lines like “We run in circles you saw me cry, and said I looked like starlight” showcases Zafar’s strength in songwriting. It’s a lyrical journey that many can identify with — the push and pull of a relationship, the highs of starry-eyed admiration, and the lows of tear-streaked nights.
All in all, “Tunnel Vision” offers a fresh yet hauntingly familiar take on love’s complexities. It heralds the promise of Zoya Zafar’s upcoming album, “Some Songs”, and solidifies her place amongst the luminaries of contemporary singer-songwriters. If “Tunnel Vision” is any indication, Zafar is set to take us on a deeply emotional and sonically enchanting journey.