Chants climb above soft piano chords to signal the beginning of Eshtar’s single Sweet Lie, becoming only sweeter as the vocals enter with confidence and certainty, “I know, I know that the final story ends”. The opening lyrics acknowledge the end at the start, beckoning to the cyclical nature of stories, songs, and even life itself.
Orchestra hits deepen the mix, fading in and out among echoing snaps to keep rhythm before the bass drops hard and heavy. The clean production creates a soundscape filled with wind and rain falling among mountains and sky, depicting something earthly familiar while being entirely electronic (as I suppose all studio sound is in its finality and reproducibility). The ears are swept away on clouds of thought-provoking lyrics while the beat demands bodily movement. The words continuously pair diametrical images of nature to symbolize the beginning and end of a relationship in the subjective sense, along with displaying the grandiose and objective circle of life (“You were my daybreak, you were my sunset”).
The music video showcases something similar, the natural intermingling with the artificial. Eshtar dances under glowing lights in the darkness, clothed in what looks to be traditional Assyrian garb while decorated in glowing paint – a visual display of the ancient and the modern. Scenes of Eshtar sprinkled by rain drift in and out of the shot, the subject always dripping with sex appeal. She dances in front of a mirror, daring the listener to examine their own reflection, their own relationship patterns, and all the sweet lies that could be chipping the edges of the mirror.
The video also seems to reflect the namesake of the half Ukrainian and half Iraqi singer, christened after Ishtar, the Assyrian and Babylonian goddess of fertility, sex, love, and war. Just as the end and the beginning are irrevocable sides of existence, love and war, creation and destruction are irrevocable sides of the same Goddess. All can be felt in the Sweet Lie of Eshtar, with only more to come of brilliant images of apparent dichotomy, filled with the wholeness of unity. She conceives a tight mix of energetically upbeat indie-pop entrenched inside emotionally charged lyrics that can be felt as well as heard – the crowning achievement of good, honest music.