Do you ever wake up with warped dream-logic still draped over your head, concerned about sorting out things that don’t exist – though they definitely reflect very real issues in your life, in a way that you’re definitely not going to make sense of this morning because you’re fucking LATE FOR WORK FUCKKKKK?
I do. It happened a lot in the summer of 2018, though its frequency dropped when I started working as an English-language tour guide. I was paid exclusively through tips and my company‘s name has the word ‘Free‘ in it, but I also got to say whatever I liked for 5ish hours. It was fun but exhausting.
I got particularly lucky on my first ever tour; big tip, nice group, bright thick sunshine. I went for a walk with afterwards carrying my listening to the new A$AP Rocky album Testing, and at some point my head started to hurt. It wasn’t that I didn’t like the music, it was definitely interesting, but I wanted to relax and celebrate the end of a long process of job-finding, and instead I was listening to a sticky reflection of my messy thoughts. I went home, lay down, and swapped Rocky for the music with more accessible, simple rhythms, beats from artists like Toxe, smooth enough to transfer the warped emotions within.
6 months later I feel that same warped recognition whilst watching a crystalline singer named Bea1991 sway. This time I’m tired for more simple reasons, it’s calm. This calmness is only slightly related my being pretty drunk, pretty drunkedness that fishes my camera out of my rucksack and carelessly snaps away at the joyously throbbing crowd, the emotional exorcisms coaxed out by Bea’s beats. Like Testing, her music utilises a full range of synthetic sound to explore the chemical storms of a unsettled brain, but you can really hear the difference between a rapper going through an experimental phase and an artist whose been crafting sound for years; Bea1991 delivers darkness without having to compromise groove.
‘Sooner or later, they’ll come to erase her, they’ll go to hell saviour.’ – the opening line. Nilüfer’s lyrics straddle that line of being ambiguous without being incomprehensible. Her way of singing – the withholding and the release. The angst of the guitar. The sound of the room and its echo.
Several weeks ago, during one of those lower moods, I saw her perform at Rough Trade. I feel that something about her music digests harder feelings… and it’s comforting.
‘I’m in talks with something and I might win.’
Poetry, mood, enigma.
‘Mother, keep filling our void
Damaged by insensibles
I’m where love lost her backbones
She can’t pretend’
Bassline, drums, strings.
This track brings to mind/soul things not often explicitly expressed in this modern secular society – sacrifice, devotion, spiritual yearning. The religious speaks to the dark for me and the light, bringing the language for that very separation. As though to know darkness is to also know light?
For me, Sevdaliza is queen of densely digesting the darkness in poetic and sonic form.
Sometimes I feel like I literally want to hit someone in the face. I like listening to Vince Staples which somehow helps to make my rage eloquent instead of physical. Sometimes it just charges me up so I have to go out for a walk to get my mind off it lol
Anger is such a big part of me and my music and reclaiming it as a woman is very important for me. I listen to Nah by Junglepussy when I’m discriminated because of my gender and I imagine screaming the lyrics in the face of my abuser.