Alternative | Indie Pop
Side note: This is an update of the initial review I wrote for this EP. I would like to give a huge thanks to AGAINST GIANTS for getting in touch with me, and highlighting the incorrect information in my initial write-up. I find it extremely important that I am as gender-inclusive as possible towards all of the artists I review. Therefore, I would like to apologise for misgendering Dua Saleh in the initial review, and I have updated this article to address their gender properly, as they are non-binary. If you see any similar oversights in past or future articles, please feel free to get in touch. I am always willing to grow with my work, and this includes the inclusivity in my writing.
Dua Saleh was an artist who I sort of stumbled across in a time where new music was a little scarce. That time, of course, was the early January of 2019, in which I was lucky enough to discover their 5-track debut EP, Nūr.
And while that EP did feel a little short lived, and rough around the edges, I felt that it was a solid effort when you keep in mind that it was Dua Saleh’s very first effort at making a compilation of tracks.
Since the release of that EP, Dua Saleh has managed to keep a productive amount of new material coming. But at each of these points, I have seemingly been swimming in music for me to listen to critically. And therefore, I never really got a good chance to fully delve into their music again; until now.
Last week, we received the sophomore EP from Dua Saleh, and this time, things feel considerably different, especially given that its barely been a year and a half of time for the artist to evolve and develop their style further. And both of those things, they have seemingly done with ease, as ROSETTA, feels just as clean-cut and layered in its sound as it feels more substantial and complete.
With a total of six tracks this time around, ROSETTA somehow manages to feel like more of a fulfilling experience than Nūr, despite the new EP actually having a shorter runtime than its predecessor. And while the first EP had its own sort of minimal charm to it, I more than appreciate the drastic increase in production quality that ROSETTA has. The instrumentals on each track have a brilliantly punchy quality in many parts, and this really helps carry through the attitude in Dua Saleh’s vocals, and furthermore gives the artist a convincing amount of personality.
Initially, I saw the EP as one that could have utilised some of the single that were released prior. However, I later discovered that ROSETTA had been completed almost a year ago, so it made sense for awesome tracks like “manOman” and this years racism-awareness track “body cast” to not have been included. And while I felt that the EP could’ve used just a little more material, just to give it a little bit more girth, ROSETTA still feels substantial enough.
And in terms of the tracks individually, whilst some definitely seemed more enjoyable than others, I didn’t really have a particularly glaring issue with any of them, and I still believe that they culminated together well to make what felt like a very consistent EP.
All in all, ROSETTA was a very clear improvement upon Dua Saleh’s previous EP, and that was for certain the most important thing to have achieved. It definitely renews my sense of promise that Dua Saleh will ultimately set themselves up with a stellar discography, and take the future of music by storm.
Favourite Tracks: umbrellar | smut | hellbound
Least Favourite Track: bankrupt