Dark Days EP review in Lunatic.bg

Nikola Nikolov from the great Bulgarian band TDK has written an epic review of the EP for Lunatic.bg!

Here is a brief translation:

Anna Bo is a performer who walks in the shadows of the Bulgarian underground from the years of its creation. It is also a satellite and navigator of streams, which are extremely poorly represented in Bulgaria. However, her apocalyptic dreampop, like a weed, flourishes in the ears and finds a place there, probably forever.

Anna Bo’s Dark Days is probably one of the saddest and at the same time vital things that can be heard in the Bulgarian music world, but that’s wonderful, isn’t it?

The name of the album is closely related to the story that precedes the scenes from the movie The Hunger Games. Years before the on-screen action in the world of the Hunger Games, there was a riot, severe, with many casualties – as it should be. The days at the end of the revolt, which led to a kind of apocalypse, are called Dark Days.

Moya is the song with which Anna Bo’s Dark Days begins. The original is by Southern Death Cult and is something of a regional British hit. The vocalist of not-yet The Cult participates in it and the band is a complete nihilistic post-punk chaos. In one of their interviews is the following eternal phrase: “What to say, what to do – I do not know why I am on this earth and I do not know why I will leave it.” There is a roar.

I drive on an empty boulevard, the standard perforated asphalt, overgrown grass between the lanes and meaningless lights on all sides. Driving an old European car that has crossed its teenage years becomes a wonderful capsule for Moya. The speed increases, but the minutes go at a different pace because of the music. I take down the window, put my hand through the gaping hole, and “at this moment” Anna Bo’s piercing vocals pass by and begin to wrap around my fingers. First I and then all my companions start cursing the cheap speaker from which we listen to the song. It doesn’t matter – the night is ours; in this deserted time we feel at the same time in rainy London, dressed in the lust of Berlin, or under a bench capable only of sounds, in Provadia.

Two minutes of fear – the second song in the EP is called Fears and on a first listening it reminds me of the story of some cuties who get lost in the woods after eating an indecent amount of mushrooms. Instead of rediscovering themselves and living a “new, better life,” they find a garden gnome with whom they spend the rest of the evening. Everything is wonderful until the dwarf begins to acquire human qualities, to the point that he turns out to be a child with mental health problems from a home near their hut. The story ends with how they give them BGN 200 because they found the child.

We stop the car and are in front of a shop with inscriptions ranging from – dust rest, to the already dead national lottery. Two beers, a box of cigarettes, chips and a cold coffee. Lights in the Sky starts. Run, run – “Isn’t this Nine Inch Nails, is it” – says the voice behind the wheel. Yes, we expect Trent Rezner, but in his place, Anna Bo’s voice leaks from the walls. We run with the black vehicle to a place that could be the cover of a Central American post-hardcore band – the quiet and dry tunnels of our largest known water park. I wake up at the third minute and I feel how things are more than pleasant, someone has taken my hand and walks me through these gutters “stretched in the sky, like antennae”. I manage to find all the reassurance I need in the words “Watching you drown, I’ll follow you down”.

I guess it’s mid-March or mid-April, it’s so hard to tell these days, apart that in my head they’re like a ball of fat, from the ones you can find at the bottom of a pot. It’s late and it’s cold, we go up again and burn. I feel that although the color of the sky has not changed significantly, everything around us is a bit darker – we are clearly approaching. The music goes in full sync with us and with the sound of the last beats of Lights in the Sky – the big ball of worry finally bursts and creates an atmosphere of final loss. “Time, time has a way – you know”.

“The Sky’s Heavy Burden” begins – a title that, I admit, has remained a resounding phrase. Due to the lack of text, here I can freely make my comparisons with my favorite Texas synth scene, of which the brightest representatives are S U R V I V E. The genre of the eighties’ John Carpenter is extremely suitable for the panel hell I am in at the moment. Pale yellow lights, multicolored terraces and no homogeneity – these alien terraces resemble sharp teeth, ready for a feast. And all this is in the song, no matter how much you look around, however – you have two minutes to do it, because this song means almost nothing without the previous and the next.

So we come to Dark Days, which gives the name of the album. At first I was surprised that this song ends Anna Bo’s musical message, as the tempo is high, fresh air enters the tones and a classic post-punk is formed, kill me now and forever, a song about the end of the world. In subsequent hearings, however, this became more and more like the exact end of the album – a sip of hope that there is no hope. And maybe that’s not so bad. God has no taste, everything is on fire – that’s wonderful, isn’t it?

And one more thing, as for the end – the EP is made of the streets and buildings of Sofia, of its smells and sometimes rotten lighting, but the most characteristic in this album is the air, the space between the tones and the relationship between the different instruments. It is this distance that manages to leave room for interpretation and this can make the album personal.

Recommendation – to listen in full.
Recommendation – to listen to “Songs of the Melancholic Princess”.

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