For Zylva, creating is a form of healing. In 2020, the producer, illustrator, and poet found herself struggling with her mental wellbeing: a fresh arrival in locked-down Berlin, and newly heartbroken in a city known for its harsh winters and fleeting connections, Zylva imagined a place for hope, creating her debut album “Poems from the Dark”.

Drifting somewhere between avant pop, lo-fi and celestial R&B, “Poems from the Dark” sets out on an emotional journey that unfolds over the course of twelve deeply personal tracks. The fluttering piano keys on opener I Will Carry You In My Heart serve as an undercurrent that runs throughout the album, while Eyelash, Save You and Butterflies show her zeal for crafting beats that underpin the shadowy characters in her lyrics.

Ultimately, Zylva faces her fears. On the electro-tinged anthem DreamSs, Zylva declares: “I will walk alone towards the sunset, towards the end of time”, and in Berlin - “the city of lonely people” - she learns to embrace the solitude, finding salvation and strength in herself. Working bluer notes into a powerful resistance to despair, Zylva’s songwriting is as incisive as it is illuminating, never shying away from the dark and shadows of everyday life.

Words by Caroline Whiteley

All tracks played, written, produced and mixed by Carina Madsius aka Zylva
A3/4/7, B2/3/4 co-produced by Ludwig Wandinger
Mastered by Martin Ruch
Vocal ad-libs on track 12 by Pia Ovanda
Piano on track 12 engineered by Juan Moreno
Portrait by Manuel Nieberle
Illustration on side A of record by Carina Madsius
Design by Maximilian Schachtner
©℗2023 Squama

  • Electronic Sound (UK)

    Beautiful, emotionally raw music for broken hearts

    German classical musician turned electronic producer Zylva fuses these two seemingly incompatible strands into an accomplished debut album informed by heartbreak and mental health challenges. The best moments here arrive when Zylva switches off the Auto-Tune effect that characterises some songs -
    'Dolphins & Roses' is a reflective, introspective piece where delicato synths rest atop plaintive piano, while 'Echoes From A Theatre' is inchoate and distant, her vocals delivered with a moving honesty.

  • 15 questions

    Insights into the Inner Worlds

    When I listen to music, I see shapes, objects and colours. What happens in your body when you're listening? Do you listen with your eyes open or closed?Listening to music opens up a space where various things emerge.
    I, too, associate sounds with colors. It's a physical experience for me, and depending on the music, my body resonates in different ways. I might feel lighter or heavier, experience goosebumps, or cry or laugh. Any feeling or sensation is possible.
    I listen to music in all situations, whether my eyes are open or closed. ometimes, when I attend live concerts, I like to close my eyes to minimize visual stimuli and focus solely on the music.

    What were your very first steps in music like - and how do you rate gains made through experience versus the naiveté of those first steps?
    My first steps in music were dancing to my uncle's music. He is a musician too, and I started playing the piano at the age of three. I remember it being very playful, and that element still exists in my music today, especially when I'm playing and writing my own songs.
    I believe both aspects have their own qualities. Finding a balance between the two is beautiful, in my opinion.

    Read Review
  • METAL Magazine

    Breaking Free

    “I started playing the piano at a very young age, so it feels kind of natural to me” Zylva tells us of her musical roots. However, she began to feel constrained creatively as a concert pianist and so began to pursue the production of electronic music. Her debut album, Poems in the Dark, released early last month on 9 June, demonstrates the multi-faceted nature of Zylva as an artist: her beautiful relationship with the piano, as well as her clear passion for electronic music. Now she is creator, muse, and performer.

    Read Review
  • Zylva

    Working bluer notes into a powerful resistance to despair, Zylva’s songwriting is as incisive as it is illuminating, never shying away from the dark and shadows of everyday life.

    • Poems from the Dark

      180g vinyl

      € 25€ 21