The Toronto-based Pop artist, Instrumentalist, and Singer/Songwriter Dani Kristina released her long-awaited cinematic EP titled, 'Aura.'
Through previous features with us, we must note the growth in confidence and resilience we've seen from Dani Kristina. While working alongside Trevor James Anderson for her EP 'Aura,' Dani Kristina stated that the project captures dancey pop anthems all the way to moody and emotional ballads. Without further ado, let's dive right into the sweet-sounding project.
Opening the project with the intro track "Deceived," the song begins with a muffled acoustic guitar that drops into the mid-tempo beat. Once a fiery bassline enters the track alongside kicking drum patterns and Dani Kristina's tender vocals, we begin to feel our hearts flutter with the song's delicate atmosphere.
Dani Kristina paints disheartening pictures of falling in love with the wrong person while pushing a sound message of keeping your guard up when love comes knocking. The surrounding instrumentation is incredibly spacious, offering harmony between the Pop production and Dani Kristina's deep lyrical message. Through the first song, Dani Kristina allows listeners to get lost within her compelling lyricism.
Moving on to the second track, "Drift Away," the song spaciously opens with drifting background pads that quickly drop into the groovy mid-tempo beat. Once Dani Kristina's vocals begin to sway us through her natural tenderness, the concept she sings about brings themes of resilience and persistence.
While singing lyrics of wanting to keep the fire lit between her and someone she loves, she can't help but release her inner-turmoil regarding unreciprocated effort. While the supporting instrumentals continue to drift with bright electric guitar pulses, a rhythmic bassline, airy drum patterns, and fluttering keys, we love the similarities between the instrumental atmosphere and Dani Kristina's introspective lyrical message.
Deepening the EP with the next track, "Burning Parachute," we're instantly submerged within the sonic depths and soul this song delivers. This might just be our favorite track on the project, as Dani Kristina offers this raw and fresh vibe through the song's soulful Pop instrumentals and her intoxicating vocal delivery. Through the song's blistering lead piano instrumental and an equally blistering bassline, the instrumentals push the EP to new sonic places that explore the heaviness of Kristina's aching soul. While her lyricism surrounds themes of wishing she got up and left a long time ago, we can't help but feel connected to Kristina's powerful concept while basking in the heat of the instrumentals.
Adding light and empowerment to the EP with the fourth track, "Laundry Day," Dani Kristina sets sail into an unbothered state that's quite amusing and rather infectious. While the song begins with bright electric guitar melodies, a tugging bassline, and soft organic drum patterns, Dani Kristina comes around with her playful lyricism. While describing the fights constantly picked with Kristina, she goes on and sings of moving forward from the words that have been tossed her way. While exuding this natural empowerment and strength for listeners to take away for themselves, we love the brilliant and clever lyricism that Dani Kristina delivers with this enthusiastic bop.
Moving towards the outro track "You Don't Get to Choose," Dani Kristina closes out her EP with vast strength and resilience. As the delicate song opens with warm piano melodies, Dani Kristina's soft vocals appear and depict unfortunate situations where she found herself in the midst of unnecessary heartbreak.
Once the passionate violins make their cinematic appearance, the song's chorus drifts into a highly soothing atmosphere where Kristina sings of making her own decision and living for herself from here on out. With the addition of airy drum kicks, the song's power has never been so strong. Simultaneously, Dani Kristina's anthemic layered vocals end the song off with vast strength and poise, encouraging listeners to bask in their independence.
We love the heartfelt and powerful journey that Dani Kristina has taken us on through the entirety of her empowering EP 'Aura,' and we're profoundly impressed with the resilience and strength that Kristina has come out with in the end.
We're extremely appreciative of your empowering EP, 'Aura.' What did you want listeners to take away from the project's entirety?
This project has been a long time coming, and the main thing I want listeners to take away is the different genres and styles I use to express myself. There’s been an incredible amount of growth that I’ve experienced both through my writing and performance since I first went to Noble Street Studios in Toronto to start recording this project, and it was really important to me that people understood who I am in relation to the music I create. I come from a variety of different influences, and the music I write can rarely be defined by one specific genre, so I wanted this EP to reflect that. ‘Aura’ ultimately represents me, and the different sides of me that exist within.
Within your EP 'Aura,' you take us through brilliant lyricism surrounding the concept of a broken relationship. How does the track-listing order emphasize the EP's lyrical concept?
The track-listing represents a journey that I’m reflecting on within this release. It’s a story of searching for emotion, working through it, and eventually, it’s one of acceptance. Starting off with “Deceived” in particular and following with “Drift Away” was important to me, because both songs are really instrumental in setting up the story for the rest of the EP. “Deceived” is this song about the perfect man and the fear that comes along with a comfortable love as opposed to a passionate one. It’s probably my favorite one on the EP, as it deals with this incredibly complicated relationship and the question of whether love always has to be as theatrical as it’s portrayed in art. “Drift Away” is kind of what happens next, a song that reminds you that maybe what you missed out on is what you needed all along. While “Deceived” is about searching for pain and emotion, “Drift Away” is about numbing it. After that, the rest of the EP follows a sort of grief process, with the angsty “Burning Parachute”, sassy “Laundry Day” and eventually powerful “You Don’t Get to Choose”.
We've heard that you worked alongside Trevor James Anderson to create your EP, 'Aura.' What was your collaborative/creative process like? Did Trevor help with your sonics, lyricism, or both?
Trevor is probably one of my favorite people to work with. He’s so fun to create alongside because he really understands who I am as an artist and the hidden meanings behind a lot of my music. In the studio, we spend a lot of time focusing on capturing takes that feel as authentic as possible. In “Laundry Day” for example, we were able to take some liberties with the vocals, and add some quirky clips of phone calls and laughter which were all pretty authentic. Adding in crowd vocals on certain lines for emphasis, and putting my phone into the vocal booth really helped make the song that much more fun to create and listen to, which were all great suggestions made by Trevor. Without his expertise, songs like “Burning Parachute” and “Deceived” would sound much different, and he did an amazing job of capturing the mood of these songs along with Julijana Hajdinjak, who co-produced them. Trevor and I actually co-wrote “Drift Away” together, which was so fun. He produced the track and had some lyrics already, and then we spent a few hours just bouncing ideas off of one another in the studio, eventually coming to the final product you hear on the EP.
Within your EP 'Aura,' we've noticed that your song "Drift Away" has garnered incredible attention. Why do you think this song has been so successful, and how does it add to the EP's overall concept?
I think that people have been really resonating with “Drift Away” because of its vulnerability. It follows this sort of lost relationship, whether that be romantic or platonic, and the sadness of losing touch when it’s out of your control. The track is almost nostalgic in a way, cause it mentions so many memories of a past connection, without really resolving to what happens next. I’ve received so many messages from people telling me how “Drift Away” almost feels like it was written about them and a certain experience they’ve gone through, some have expressed sadness because of a friend they’ve disconnected from or a lover that’s been lost. I think a lot of the appeal also has to do with Trevor’s production because it’s so complementary to what’s happening lyrically by really capturing the darkness that comes with this loss. While dark and sad, this song still does have that element of hope that I explore throughout the EP, with this mention of saving and trying to bring back a connection.
Through a previous interview with us, you noted that the outro track "You Don't Get to Choose" encompasses the entire EP 'Aura.' Did you create this track first, to build the project on top of it?
I actually wrote all of these songs at different points in my life, and since I’ve been writing for fifteen years, I had a large selection of songs to choose from for this project. When I was first going through and choosing songs, I knew I really wanted to share “You Don’t Get to Choose”, not only because I wanted the people it was about to hear it, but because I knew that it was an important message that I wanted to share. So, I kept in mind the story I wanted to tell and went from there. “You Don’t Get to Choose” definitely encompasses this entire EP in the sense that it shows this progression from darkness to this enlightenment of acceptance, which I think is demonstrated both sonically and lyrically throughout ‘Aura’, especially when you listen to “Deceived” versus “Laundry Day”.
What can fans anticipate to hear next from you?
I’ve got a lot of new music ready for 2021, as well as a music video for one of the songs off of ‘Aura’ coming out mid-November. I’m so excited to share what’s coming next, and this new music is definitely going to be something everyone should keep an eye out for.