Marie Dahlstrom Draws Awe-Inspiring Body Of Work With Debut Album ‘Like Sand’
Writing rhymes and poems over Summer Evenings
Then losing words over A Loveletter,
If someone ever has Something To Say,
Now is the right Time to let it out,
No more Wandering nor beating around the bush
Feelings can be read Through Your Eyes
Though You never looked at love this way,
Just speak your heart, talk it through
So we can make room for Ordinary Love
So we can finally sleep at night,
Light as the Lullaby we used to sing along at night.
“I Don’t Wanna Wake Up“, that type of prayers you send to Mister Sandman
Yet holding on too tight to the love of your dreams
Might, alas, eventually end up just Like Sand.
London-based singer-songwriter Marie Dahlstrom, just released her debut album, entitled Like Sand, this Friday, 22nd May. Coming from one of the most exciting and hard-working musician, this project has been highly anticipated.
The fanbase that she’s been building up these past years all over the world will appreciate the actual culmination of 10 years of work. From London, key collaborations with talented artists from Paris (cf Les Loups), to Tokyo (cf Mine), Canada (Hans Island Project) and Los Angeles (Her Songs), the Danish singer has grown an amazing community around her craft along these past years.
Back in the time we reviewed her NINE EP, as the maturation of an artist, LIKE SAND is set up to be Dahlstrom’s breakthrough.
Among these collaborations, the Like Sand album features longtime friends, people she already worked with in the past and linked great connection with. One name comes in mind: Jeremy Passion, whom we had the pleasure to converse with through a sincere interview, back then, for his album II.
“Working with Marie was awesome! She is very talented and soulful and was the reason why we got in touch with each other.” – Jeremy Passion
Passion and Dahlstrom have released sensational single Forget Me Nots back in the days, and here they come again, with Through Your Eyes. Great surprise for day-one-fans, then.
When it comes to vibes, vocals and harmonies, Marie and Jeremy just fuse and give you the best of their both worlds.
Recorded between LA, Copenhagen and London over the past 12 months – Like Sand features collaborations besides California-based Jeremy Passion, with the likes of South London soul singer James Vickery, Brooklyn based singer/producer Elijah Fox, LA-based JNTHN STEIN, British guitarist Beau Diako – and more.
Collaboration is a notion which has always been important to Marie. Not only wanting to work with people she admires and looks up to – but also a firm believer in promoting new talent.
“I really want to be personally involved in generating a culture of promoting exciting new artists. A lot of these upcoming artists have studied their instrument and meticulously studied their craft – and deserve to be heard,” she says, highlighting the likes of Conor Albert, DanDiggas, Sipprell, and her flatmate Aligo – all whose contributions can be heard on her debut album.
In term of production, the mastering offers you a one-of-kind sound experience, which serves the overall storytelling and consistency of the album. She offers something modern and aligned with the top R&B rising artists such as Mahalia and H.E.R..
What’s worth of admiration, is Dahlstrom taste for new things to test her creativity. This can go from learning percussions, to challenging her vocals and delivery. That’s the freshness we enjoy.
Like Sand stands as a marvelous body of work, and paints a beautiful metaphor for a Love kind of dreamlike, but vain if you put too much pressure. Give it loose before it all cuts loose.
“‘Like Sand’ is a song about fear”, Marie explains. “It’s about caring about someone – but expressing it in the wrong way – the fear of losing. It is something I think a lot of people can relate to; either being treated this way – or treating someone this way.
Fundamentally, it is very human to fear loss, but holding on to someone too tight, will only make them hold on to you a little less. With this song, I hope that people who are treating their loved ones this way will meet this behaviour and feeling with patience, awareness and willingness to change.”
The whole album sparkles this idea of all the ways anyone can express romantic feelings. There’s a play with anticipation and uncertainty which all make the beauty of a relationship with growing feelings. The orchestration is so well put together.
Tunes suggest an ongoing conversations in an intimate space. Cinematic is magic.
She sings about love, but this feels deeper than a simple collection of love songs. This is almost psychological, not to say therapeutic.
Basically, this is a honest take on personal flaws, with a positive reflection. Marie explains:
“I wanted to hone in on what makes us who we are. The absence of something in a person’s life, makes room for the presence of something else. ‘Home With You’ is a song about celebrating honesty and compassion in love, even if it isn’t al-ways easy.”
Other songs on the track listing address topics such as the complexities of modern day relationships; misunderstandings, mistakes, and disagreements (‘Through Your Eyes’), and the beautiful realisation that you’ve found someone special – an unfiltered, impulsive declaration of love (‘A Loveletter, An Improvisation’).
The themes on Like Sand are diverse, honest and wholly relatable – the latter being one of the most attractive qualities of Marie Dahlstrom’s music.
Take the joyful, woozy ‘Time’; a fitting reminder to be present in whatever you do, being sure to appreciate the small things in life instead of getting lost in the daily grind.
“In this city where I live, I forgot just how to breath / feel the earth under my skin, hear the rush of falling leaves” she sings amidst fluttering flute motifs and squelchy synths.
“We have a tendency to applaud people who are always ‘working’ and we are often judged by our productivity. This song is a reminder that there’s so much more to celebrate in life – so many more moments to cherish, that aren’t about achievements.”
On ‘Wandering’, one of the more experimental, electronically-charged cuts on the album Marie wanted to create an image of a ship being adrift at sea, not being able to navigate to shore again.
“I wanted the song to feel like being lost. Something I feel like everyone goes through at some point in their life – and something I feel a lot of musicians can relative to when navigating their career as an artist.”
“Music is my identity,” says Marie. “It’s what I’m most proud of. I hope there will be something for everyone with these new songs, and I hope that people will find comfort, and maybe feel more of themselves whilst they listen.”
With Dahlstrom’s flatmate Aligo rapping on album closer ‘Summer Evenings’ – that fact feeds nicely into a theme which is ever-present on Like Sand; the idea of ‘home’. “Home is where most of my music starts. It’s where everything is happening; with the people I live with – as well as bringing friends to record and write together. A lot of the album is quite ‘home’ focused; my own little bubble.”
Within that bubble, lie some of Marie’s key influences. You can catch the musical spirit of Dwele dwelling on tunes such as Summer Evenings and Lullaby – Some Kinda album type of vibe.
One of the more delicate, R&B-leaning cuts from the album, ‘Home With You’ features production from long-term collaborator DanDiggas (known for his work with Mahalia), guitars from friend and collaborator Sipprell, and an inspired contribution from talk-box expert, DT Soul.
Now is Marie Dahlstrom’s time. Like Sand is the culmination of 10 years of hard work – and this is just the beginning.
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