Szjerdene Brings Her Golden Voice To Immaculate New EP
Last month, we introduced you to a vocalist with the dreamiest, sweetest tone we’d ever heard. Her name is Szjerdene and she’s lent her pipes to major producers over the last few years but her best work is what she crafts by and for herself. Based in London, Szjerdene just released her latest solo EP, Trace, featuring five mesmerizing slow-burns of minimalist electronica.
Trace is as thoughtful and articulate as Szjerdene is herself — hear her go in-depth with The Music Mermaid about each track below.
Trace opens exactly as haunting and dynamic as you’d expect from having heard any previous releases from Szjerdene. On EP opener “Veil,” there’s no build-up to Szjerdene’s golden voice. We’re treated to it right away, like a gift, served soulfully on a minimal bed of distant electronic plinks and a looming synth swell. The track mostly maintains its bare-bones structure throughout its length, but there’s a smashing climax and the addition of strings that contribute new sonic details we weren’t expecting. Following Trace’s dizzying beginning is “Clarity,” the quickest track on the record at just under two and a half minutes. It has almost a vintage feel to it — Szjerdene’s vocal delivery is quick and clipped over a punchy percussive base. This one doesn’t chug or pulse like other electronic pieces. Instead it jerks along real slow, evolving into a wispy arrangement of warring tones and synth styles.
The middle of Trace finds “Restart,” the Szjerdene single we adored last month (which made it onto our favorite tracks of February list, too). Her vocals dip and dive into new crannies of skill, all while the song’s arrangement clamors with refreshing electro beats. On “Rain,” Szjerdene moves into a darker mode of electronica with a slinking composition equal parts anxious and relaxed. Her voice is a low croon but later, when the song starts to pump and pulse with quick-paced beats, she returns to her soft falsetto. Trace ends with “Common Ground,” a stunning conclusion to a record that felt like a dream. A tender piano line opens the track while quiet clatter rises in the distance only to be stopped in its tracks by Szjerdene’s smooth voice sending her emotional lyricism into the ether of her electronica.
With Trace, Szjerdene offers another batch of immaculate gems. Each song feels hot to the touch like it’s burning right through you, but not quite burning, really, because there’s something so soft and slow about Szjerdene’s work — these songs don’t burn. They simmer. These are moments of crystallized electronica offered up by a woman with no end to her golden skill.
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Featured photo of Szjerdene by David Butler