Listen: Soleima - 'Once Was'
Denmark's Soleima has unveiled her new track, 'Once Was'. A wonderfully challenging but equally gripping Scandi-pop single, it marks the singer out as one of the most interesting European exports we've heard in quite some time.
Soleima, real name Sarah Mariegaard (formerly of Danish hip-hop outfit Flødeklinikken), is proving today that she is ready to take on the world.
Based in Copenhagen, Soleima has been carefully developing her very distinct sound and visual identity over the past few months, returning with 'Once Was', a track which encompasses a complex array of influences and sounds, exquisitely bringing them all together to form something which sounds both modern, inventive - a sound that very much belongs solely to her.
'Once Was', the first single to be lifted from her forthcoming debut EP, "is a song about inconsistent relationships" - she explains. "The feeling of not knowing whether you can count on people".
Luxurious synth arrangements partner with Soleima's distinctive, glittering vocal tone. It's a song which builds slowly, patiently leading towards a crushing crescendo of deep, sparkling electronics and instrumentals, not forgetting a chorus that is hard to shake off.
Soleima goes on to explain 'Once Was' a bit further - "Sometimes the Internet inspires me when I write songs. It's somehow become natural to interact in a rapid, and flighty way. I do it myself all the time. 'Once Was', on some level is about how this can feel. In a way you're always able to be in more than once place at the same time. But equally, you are never really only with one person at one time. To me, this is a song written to a friend and not a lover, even though many might think it is a love song. I guess it represents a very universal feeling that might occur in many different relationships though - and can be relevant to anyone really."
Comparisons have been made in the past to fellow Dane, MØ- but with this new material, Soleima sounds fully equipped to break out as an artist in her own right.
On this new material, Soleima has been working alongside popular Danish producers Vera and Vasco, known for their work with LISS, and their own releases through Belgian electronic record label Pelican Fly (including a recent MØ remix). Soleima explains how they have been inspired by the odd, and sometimes 'off-sounding' when writing songs together. It has been some of the key elements in the writing process to fit these abnormalities into their music.
'Once Was' is the first single to be lifted from Soleima's as yet untitled debut EP, and it is very much the first song to really define the sound of the forthcoming EP.