Album Review: Dania O. Tausen – ja

Dania O. Tausen is a Faroese singer songwriter who has just hit my radar thanks to the first part of her new double album, ja/nei – og restin av vikuni (in English: yes/no – and the rest of the week). Part one is called ja.

By Graeme Smith

Ja/nei – og restin av vikuni is Dania’s second album and it focuses on ordinary life, sung in folky Faroese. Yet, this isn’t some corny chronicle of everyday people but rather a gateway into larger matters and reaches peaks of absurdity, the unconscious and social toxicity. Even if, like me, you don’t speak a word of Faroese, the collection touches on something universally human to which we can all relate.

Ja opens with at siga ja er nei. It’s a sultry, percussive start with atmospheric echoing guitar and pleasant bass textures. The shining star is Dania’s vocals, beautifully characterful and soulful. They are paired nicely with Ragnar Finsson’s, who makes the track an intimate and compelling duet.

Eg gleði meg at sakna teg is delicately jazzy with lilting vocals and a sense of the timeless. Eg burdi keypt mær hús í bergen ups the tempo with a pop arrangement that is equal parts country and electronic. It’s an intriguing and rewarding mix. Kann eg hava armin soleiðis her? is a driving and emotional track that sits at the heart of the album. It’s a highlight.

The album’s last three tracks see Dania team up with collaborators, firstly Cantabile Chorus for the ambient interlude heimlig ljóð and the delicately acoustic við mána afturvið, then Son Of Fortune for album closer og tað er bara tað. It keeps things acoustic before exploding into a triumphant farewell. It’s another highlight.

Ja is such a beautiful and unexpected find. The world is simply sleeping on Dania O. Tausen and this album deserves some international attention. Each of its tracks is compelling sung and the instrumentals arrangement will warm your heart right through. I can’t wait to hear part two!

You can listen to ja below.