From time to time, you hear an EP and instantly can sense that it’s going to be significant. Sad Girl, a relative newcomer, has been kind enough to bestow one upon us. But more importantly, it does what few EPs manage to do - it tells us not only a story from different perspectives but describes, in this writer's humble opinion, the journey of the heart and mind when losing someone we love - the conflicting emotions when we hurt and the evolution of emotions we experience as we heal. It achieves this by using a rich and diverse collection of sounds as its vocabulary, and a brilliant integration and structure as its grammar.
Also, this strategy manages to give each track its unique character, allowing them to stand on their own.
The first track starts with a dark, rich, thumping bassline and a gentle slapping stab. These elements are continuously developing and integrating with one another, all the while slowly generating a psychedelic stab that resonates throughout the track. The beginning of Romance 1 inserts you into in a dark space, both mentally and physically. When the bassline comes in at full force, all the elements combine at first, to produce a brilliant, aggressive, dark techno `chuggalong’ - one worthy of the floors of Berghain, but descriptive of a broken heart. Beautiful vocals slowly develop, but at first, are tuned out by the dark, forceful and assertive energy of this track.
When the bassline drops back in, and the stabs fall out while maintaining the vocals, it’s hard not to feel shivers run down your back. I can only imagine this track being the perfect soundtrack for a dark church - dimly lit by a few candles, seeing only the hands in the air of your fellow ravers entranced and captivated by this techno masterpiece. The vocals allow the listener to safely float on the wings of angels over the deep, dark energy that underlies the rest of the track. It saves us, and brings us together while we catch glimpses of each other - but only enough to know that we’re not alone, that others have felt this before. But that’s only a visual interpretation - the track is saying much more than that.
Romance 1 tells the story of heartbreak - the feelings one has when having suffered a broken heart. Not only the darkness and the emptiness, but also the beauty that’s present in the angelic vocals. It reminds us that sadness is a beautiful emotion - why? Because it means we deeply cared about something. We go back and forth between thinking that we’ve lost something, and being profoundly grateful that we ever had it in the first place.
Romance 2 brings in the vocals immediately and adds a lighter stab than the original. These elements combine to bring one to feel a sense of calmness as if we’ve just narrowly escaped the darkness of Romance 1 through the wings of the angelic singer. The track provides an optimism and confidence that we had to develop through Romance 1, fighting against the darker times.
A spacey stab emerges through the breakdown. But when we come back, the bass is even stronger. We made it through the darkness now, and not only are we safe, but we’re self-assured and moving forward. We’re back in control of our destiny after Romance 2.
Romance 3 starts off with a positive, energetic bass - things are back to normal. The loopy pad that joins us immediately at the beginning adds a curious, playful character not present in Romance 2. We’re now back on track and exploring the world through the eyes of somebody who has persevered a dark and painful, yet enlightening journey. The vocals now give us a feeling of inspiration, conviction, and direction. We’re looking forward to what the world has to bring us, and ready for it.
We’re eagerly awaiting for the release of this epic EP at FictionLab, and are impressed with the quality of this newcomer, Sad Girl.