dena If It's Written (LP, £20.95)
2nd full-length album by Bulgarian/Berlin-based singer Denitza Todorova after releases on !K7 and Kitsuné Music. LP plus download code. "If it's written in the stars", says a Bulgarian proverb. In a time shaped by uncertainty and disintegrating securities, trusting in the stars doesn't seem too far fetched. "Last year, every conversation I had ended with this sentence ", Dena explains, "before I had the album, I already had the title." Four years after her début Flash, If It's Written marks a new chapter in Dena's musical and personal development. It is the work of a grown-up woman who has taken matters into her own hands. The record is a celebration of individuality and independence, for the first time Dena has taken over producing the majority of the tracks herself. "For me, this is major progress", she says, "from writing the first song for this album to this point, it's been such a journey." Inviting friends to collaborate on her very own terms, Dena created her own universe: features include the laid back "So Wrong", a duet with Canadian indie-crooner par excellence Sean Nicholas Savage, or the serene "Things That Mean A Lot", recorded with Filipino cool cats Eyedress & Rhxanders, beautifully describing the emptiness just before a relationship falls apart. Other guests include Berlin-based Argentinian singer Pictorial Candi on the outro "If It's Written" or longtime collaborator and friend Erlend Řye on the minimal and bone-dry "Speculations". The music scene of Berlin's infamous Neukölln district was highly influential for Dena: "It was so inspiring to be surrounded by all this DIY-spirit". This has left its mark on If It's Written, which she calls her "laptop-album", as she often sang directly into the computer microphone while producing the songs. No grand set-ups needed, just her, her ideas, and trust in her own plan.
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