New York City, USA-born, Berlin, Germany-based musician and visual artist Marlena Dae is a recent discovery of mine, having hit my radar courtesy of her debut EP. A portrait of an emotional unravelling, it’s called A Delicate Storm.
By Graeme Smith
Each of A Delicate Storm’s five tracks reveals a part of a wider story. It starts cheerfully enough with no place to hide. A whispered, ambient intro moves into a bouncy electro pop arrangement and soulful vocals. Yet, even at this point there’s a suggestion of something darker to come. The lyrics speak of hedonism and a certain instability. I was hooked right from the off.
Delicate storm is somewhat more pensive. There’s a rawness and vulnerability to its minimal instrumental arrangement and Marlena’s beautiful vocals are given plenty of space to breathe. They deliver image-rich lyrics that paint a picture in your mind. The richly atmospheric emotionless comes next. Driving percussion provides the bed on which moody layers of electronica are laid.
Home sees us heading into acoustic territory with a looping guitar melody and intimate vocals. It draws from the Ram Dass quote “we are all just walking each other home” and there’s something wonderfully philosophical about it. I never loved you then closes the EP with even more intimate a capella that build into a dreamy, otherworldly crescendo.
A Delicate Storm is, in a word, stunning. The authentic emotion that Marlena has poured into it grips you as the listener, and I could get lost in her voice all day. The mix of electronic and acoustic instrumentals keeps things fresh throughout its story. Marlena’s world is one to which I will certainly be returning.
You can check out A Delicate Storm below.