The Iranian-Dutch artist Sevdaliza has shared her new song, “Joanna”. The haunting single comes from an unnamed album, due out later this summer.
For fans of Sevdaliza’s 2017 debut album, ISON, “Joanna” will sound stripped-down, even bare. ISON weaved together R&B drums and genre-bending synthesizers into rich sonic tapestries. In contrast, the backing track of “Joanna” relies on simplicity. An acoustic guitar picks out three notes at a time, so that the beginning of each measure is full of silence, while brief electronic flourishes accent the end of phrases. “Evil personified/ She preys on the dead/ Desert woman/ Veiled in silence,” Sevdaliza sings, pitching her husky voice somewhere between a whisper and a moan.
“Joanna” utilizes this stark imagery to paint a bleak picture of unrequited love. Sevdaliza said in a statement,
“‘Joanna’ captures the universal story of unrequited love. It is a reflection of the unbearable suffering crawling into our lives in different shapes. Joanna is the kind of love that has loved deeply and lost deeply. The kind of love that does not die. The kind of love that is hidden in a secret place, hungry, curled and wounded. You never have to worry about it’s ending. Joanna has endless potential to live on. For some fortunate, you will be able to experience her. For some fortunate, you will be able to escape her.”
The accompanying visuals were conceived and directed by Sevdaliza with Marlou Fernanda. It shows the songwriter in two states, before and after; from the collarbone up wearing nothing but a wig cap, and then with long raven locks and black angel wings. Check out the “Joanna” clip below.