The autumn leaves are starting to fall and the nights are drawing in, so what better to soundtrack the change of season than a lovely little introspective indie folk record. Black Sea Dahu are led by Swiss singer songwriter Janine Cathrein who wrote these songs after a breakup in an attempt to make sense of the ever shifting world around her.
Cathrein recorded the songs in Norway during a summer of endless light and there is a similar kind of otherworldly feel to them. Opening song Rhizome captures a darkness in mood, even if the music is bright. This is as far as I can go my love, she sings softly before eventually letting go and repeating the words with painful emotional conviction.
Thaw is a soft-focus folk song about memory, love, and loneliness. The title track No Fire in the Sand is more unsettling musically, with brooding guitars and a downbeat feel. Here she sings about being in love with someone who causes you nothing but trouble and heartache. She runs away from the sorrow in her mind, by diving into the sea and surfing the waves she was once scared of. From pain comes new strength.
Demian is the most musically adventurous song on the EP, merging modern beats and synths with strings and guitars, like a folky rawer version of the XX. She begs her lover to throw stones at her so she won’t keep showing up at their door. The fraught relationships that fuel these songs are reflected in the complex textures of the music.
Final song How You Swallowed Your Anger is a quietly powerful standout. The music is stripped back and this simpler acoustic arrangement suits the confessional nature of the song. She sings how she swore she wouldn’t believe in love again, but such things are easier said than done. You can hear the confusion and yearning in her voice throughout. It’s a bittersweet way to end this beautiful EP.
No Fire in the Sand is out now on Mouthwatering Records. Please consider supporting new artists by purchasing their music: