Album Review: DÃSA – “Sculpture” EP
Even though Copenhagen-based pop artist DÃSA released her debut EP, Sculpture, in March, I only began listening to it a couple of days ago. I am captivated by her commanding presence over the atmospheric, easy-listening electronic beats (produced by Anders Bach); her ethereal, sometimes haunting, vocals; and the lyrics, because the songs are either a familiar thought/feeling that I have had, or they’re really easy to sit back and take in…much like a roller coaster ride, with its ups and downs. This 5-track EP has a mixture of high and low feelings, and it’s an enjoyable, enchanting listen.
Although DÃSA has already briefly talked about each track of her album (shown below), I’m going to lend my thoughts before I have you give it a read and stream the album.
“Sculpture” is the intro song, and it creeps in the night, amongst a light fog. Her haunting, breathy voice tip-toes over ominous, heartbeat rhythm percussion, while she sings an intelligent song about two people following the same rhythm and merging together as one.
Powered by pulsating drums and echoing keys, “Marry You” glows with bliss and love. It’s a song that can sit right in with someone’s wedding playlist or something you listen to when your feelings match that of falling in love. It’s such a sweet song, which is a beautiful break of light between the sadness that resides in some of these other songs.
Thinking outloud, “Obsessions” finds DÃSA struggling with herself, questioning her love life, and working through heartache (“How am I, how am I ever, how am I ever gonna find someone // Find someone who can put up with me?“). It’s a stunning electronic-R&B offering, that’s built upon an airy atmosphere, soothing synth lines, laid-back snares, and the delicate, angelic voice of a girl pulling from an emotional place. This is one of those songs that has an 80’s flare. I think her obsession (in this song) lies within the need and constant search to feel validated and loved for who she is. Maybe?
“No Stopping This” is a bit more upbeat and heavier in sound than the previous songs, which is much welcomed. Her vocals kick up a notch over thumping drums, uptempo percussion, buzzing synths, and there’s a strong confidence in the lyrics that’s felt in an anthemic way. “I’m fighting every shadow; I’m using all the muslce I’ve got to keep it together,” is a line that sticks out to me, because it shows that she’s a warrior through setbacks and trying times, such as those described in songs like “Obsessions” and “Cure”. I hope we get to see a music video to this one!
Last, but not least, is “Cure“, which I’ve already talked about when I posted the music video. But to remind you, I had said that her vocals are as big as the beat, commanding your attention with the ethereal, dramatic tone, and a catchy chorus that will–no doubt–get stuck in your head. Seeking love and resolution, she sings about her scars and the downward spiral she’s experiencing in a relationship that she’s trying to fix.
While it’s difficult to choose favorites on a project that I thoroughly enjoy, I will say that my most played songs are “Obsessions”, “No Stopping This”, and “Cure”. It’s all good, though! And, even though this EP is minimal in sound and stripped of the usual bells-and-whistles we hear in a lot of pop tunes, this is a good testament to the whole less-is-more motto. I’m a fan of Sculpture, as you can see from my rating and review. Now that you’ve read all that (or maybe you didn’t, and you’re scrolling to the music, which is OK too!), read what DÃSA said about this project below.
‘Sculpture’ comes from a picture Shelly Poole made up while spacing out about transcendental meditation and trippy museum exhibitions. The visuals became metaphors for being so close to someone, you feel you are the same person:Â¨I’m the lung, you’re the eyeÂ¨. The recordings for this one came so easy, it almost made itself… a first vocal take kind of thing.
I can’t say the same thing about ‘Marry You’ though. That song had a bit of hard time being born, there must have been made over 7 or 8 versions and I sang so many times I ended up crying… but it made it in the end and Anders connected the coils. I wrote that song a few days after my fathers wedding which was the most amazing party I remember being to. Soon I found myself listening back to old jazz standards and writing wedding lyrics.
‘Obsession’ is the hangover after the party! No, but it’s funny with this one because it was written in about an hour with Simon Byrt and Shelly Poole, recorded with Anders in two goes. A bit lIke ‘Sculpture’ in a way, the song just knew what it wanted.
‘No Stopping This’ is written with the amazing Ana Diaz and the production team 78 in Sweden. I had such a good time at that session, it really gave me a lot of energy. The production of this is Anders firing away his drumming skills and playing around in a Portishead inspired atmo.
‘Cure’ is written with Ana and Jonas Quant the summer when my partner at that time and I where going through a hard time, not knowing whether our shit was going to break us apart or not. I must say though now the rollercoaster is over, couple therapy sure was full of writing material…
I really hope you enjoy. From me to you..all my love.