JYLDA is Italian-German Gianna Gehlhar’s musical alter ego. Now based in London after a stint in Berlin, she releases hotly awaited single “Torrential River” ahead of her upcoming debut EP Twitch in the spring produced with Beni Giles (Otzeki, James, Marcus Foster). The artwork is hand painted by street artist Steve McCracken.
This century mashup is JYLDA‘s identity. Different musical eras – but also different cardinal directions – shimmer through her. The sultry Mediterranean glow finds a balance with the subterranean pull of industrial drum sounds. JYLDA is a shapeshifter. She looms large and sways between contrasting colours of her voice and different tempos and moods, but loves to unite obscure and dusky/haunting melancholy with a tongue in cheek approach.
JYLDA’s voice finds a playful connection with sensuality and rhythm comparable with Kelela, FKA Twigs, Robyn or Little Dragon. It all revolves around the pop song, but with a darkness reminiscent of St. Vincent, Grimes and early PJ Harvey. JYLDA’s operatic training gives her voice a unique captivating siren-like intensity, drawing you into her enchanting world. The track develops from moody, mysterious, crackling percussion and an underwater feel to a roaring crescendo of colossal bass, driving drums and majestic synths.
JYLDA’s sound is ambiguous in the way that it connects the cold drones that make you think of Berlin with the warmness of analog reproductions of sounds deriving from nature. JYLDA states:
“Torrential River is a documentation of heartbreak and of unrequited love – which is always the death of a dream. It’s the fight against something that feels like failure but is out of your control.
The lyrics play with this imbalance, but the music evolves into a new world, becoming more and more upbeat. Because the only escape to resurrection is the dance. It was quite similar in the writing process… The first demo of this song was a slow ballad and then turned into a dance song in the end. The further you go into the song the more it distances itself from the original meaning and comes about liberation and rebirth.After all, when things break they can be rearranged in a collage of new meaning and power.”
Torrential River is the first release from JYLDA since moving to London in late 2017. During that time she’s been writing and collaborating with a series of exciting artists including Blakey, Ah!Kosmos, Hugh, Salt Ashes, Pillars and Kirk Spencer, the results of which will be seen in future releases in 2019 following her debut EP coming out.