ASTAA caught our attention with an intriguing single “Collusion”. In March 2024, her debut EP, “Bittersweet”, came out. An EP that is a hauntingly beautiful journey through the intricacies of human emotion, presented through a masterful blend of pop and atmospheric soundscapes. This Danish artist has crafted a collection of tracks that not only showcase her unique musical talents but also resonate deeply with listeners. Her music draws the listener into a world where light and darkness dance in perfect harmony. ASTAA uncovers herself in front of us on the EP: the good, the bad, and the bittersweet.

Vulnerability that’s rough around the edges

The EP opens with the track “Forget Your Name” that sets the tone for the entire collection. The song features a delicate balance of melancholic melodies and bluesy vocals, creating an mesmerizing listening experience. ASTAA has a voice that is both fragile and powerful, rough around the edges, weaves through the song. Her vocals invite listeners to explore the depths of vulnerability of a heartbreak. The lush instrumentation and subtle electronic elements build a complex soundscape, reflecting the EP’s overarching theme of emotional complexity and exposure.

As the EP progresses, “Feel It All” takes the listener on a darker, more introspective journey. Brooding percussion arrangement and haunting vocal harmonies complement the song’s moody atmosphere. ASTAA delivers a captivating performance, drawing the listener into a world of introspection and self-discovery. The track’s minimalist approach to instrumentation allows the emotional weight of the lyrics to shine through. ASTAA’s ability to describe the feeling of being overwhelmed and isolated at the same time is so reliable, listening to “Feel It All” feels like looking in the mirror.

ASTAA expresses the indescribable

“Collusion” stands out as the centerpiece of the EP, encapsulating ASTAA’s ability to express difficult emotions seamlessly.

“I raise the question what would happen if I leave everything behind and start a new life somewhere else. It takes all the restless energy and lets my fantasy run loose. Collusion is a song for those who feel that boredom seems all-consuming rather than healthy”, says ASTAA about the single.

“Collusion” has a power to make you stop whatever you’re doing and just listen to the song. There is a hint of darkness, a bit of ennui. ASTAA dives into these emotions and states, dissects them and boldly shares her thoughts on them with the listener.

The EP closes with “System Overload” a somber yet beautiful conclusion that leaves a lasting impression. The initial stripped-back arrangement allows ASTAA’s vocals to take center stage, conveying a sense of raw emotion and introspection. The song’s touching lyrics and delicate instrumentation create a powerful sense of closure. It feels like encapsulating the themes of feeling overwhelmed, but tired and isolated at the same time; vulnerability, heartbreak, and acceptance that permeate the EP.

A breath of fresh air

“Bittersweet” is a remarkable debut from ASTAA, showcasing her ability to create music that is both deeply personal and universally relatable. The EP’s production is meticulously crafted, with each track offering a unique sonic experience that contributes to the overall narrative. ASTAA’s vocal performance is consistently stunning, capturing a wide range of emotions with effortless grace. She possesses a one of a kind voice; a combination of a fairy with a witch. And the EP is a breath of fresh air, so needed in the era of 3-minute-radio-friendly-songs-that-all-sound-the-same.

“Bittersweet” EP is a beautiful collection of songs that explore the complexities of the human experience, wrapped in a stunning blend of electronic pop and ethereal soundscapes. ASTAA has undoubtedly made her mark with this release, and we can’t wait to see what she has in store for the future.

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