SAEDI - TOKEN
Fall down, get up, steady your crown?
No, because dark princesses don’t stumble at the sight of clouds gathering on the horizon. They navigate the storm with their heads held high, while lightning strikes in the distance.
You won’t find tinfoil crowns or cheap rhinestones on SAEDI's new album, Token. An experienced musician, she knows how to burn past such superficialities. “Las Vegas” is the first to catch fire, because if you want to find yourself there, you must first accept that the whole rotten magical thing is built on sand—a desert revealed in SAEDI’s lyrics. And so all that’s essential gathers under a cool, clear night sky, building a strong emotional foundation for those who choose to listen. Each song is an ode to sensation, to feeling—reminding us that you can’t escape the water by turning into stone.
Someone recently asked SAEDI if she wrote her new album in the spirit of feminist selfempowerment.
And she laughed, because her specific artistic environment has clearly moved beyond gender discrimination, even if—or maybe because—she always has male producers at her side. It is work that is shared. Self-determined creativity is the very essence of SAEDI. One sees this in the sense of community that emerges when she collaborates on shared pieces. And while SAEDI loves to collaborate with colleagues, and often does, Token is primarily the work of her own pen. She composed, wrote lyrics, and arranged the new album herself, using the piano as her primary instrument.
For her last album, Exhale, she brought on board Markus Kienzl of the Sofa Surfers to produce, and with him came an omnipresent feel of electronic club culture.Token dispenses with the trackbased approach of computer programs. Working with a handful of musicians and a full folder of songs, SAEDI processed the material organically, in the process finding everything needed to complete the arrangements. She finished the pieces together with recording purist Alexander Nefzger, who is a sound engineer at the Vienna Burgtheater. The result is impressive enough to share pride of place on a shelf next to Portishead’s Live in New York.
The sound that emerges—combining the power of melancholy with with the authenticity of real instruments—propels the listener into the wonderfully positive, soulful, and life-affirming aura of trip hop.