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From My Guts, With Lots of Love: Dirtsa Cuts Down to the Nerve on Cathartic New Single

Updated: Mar 18

"These four walls" is one of those dime-a-dozen phrases you've no doubt heard a time or two in your life. There have been a number of artists and accomplished singer-songwriters that have employed the idea of "if these four walls could talk," or "these four walls, they whisper to me" or "I'm going insane between these four walls"-- you get the picture. The personification of the four walls is used to capture the idea that you never know what's going on behind, or that too long in one place can drive as person crazy, or perhaps even drive them to a reality shifting epiphany. But as any musician worth their salt will tell you, those four walls are plastered and papered by the sweetest whispers and cruelest exclamation, you need only sit and listen. How long must you sit and listen? How long is too long? Who said that? Maybe I'm actually going crazy.

After a year inside those four walls (the four walls of her parents' garage, more specifically), French-Cameroonian emcee Dirtsa's finally released "Apart," her first release in nearly a year, and the first single off her upcoming debut LP. "Apart" feels like bearing witness to the straw that broke the camels back; like accidentally overhearing the argument that finally set that friend free from their abusive partner, "why you voice these things when we both know you don't mean it?" As if all of the rage, the hurt, all the stifled cries and repressed emotions finally boiled over, leaving no other choice but to burst into flames and take charge of your life. "Apart" is a masterful tale of perseverance, growth and retribution; of finally freeing oneself from harmful influences, and taking the steps to protect your peace.

Dirtsa's ability to personify and her lyrics makes her latest single stand out from singles past as a cathartic airing of grievances, painfully aware of the fact that they may never be repaid or even acknowledged, while standing tall as a declaration of strength, fearlessness and independence. Recorded over a deep, harrowing keys-centric instrumental, backed by a conservative yet striking 808 loop-- fully produced by Dirtsa herself-- the empty pockets between hi-hats and snare hits present a golden opportunity for her evocative, melancholic vocal performance to demand the listener's full attention. The grand piano chimes in like a broken godfather clock in an abandoned castle, the electric keys croon eerily yet softly, as Dirtsa sings cries out about her agonizing need to remove herself from this space that she has clearly outgrown.

"Apart" is a delightfully dreary and emphatic reemergence for Dirtsa, and is only a small taste of what the artisan is truly capable of delivering. Her unique vocals and haunting production style are indicative of not only her growth as an artist since the release of the Truly didi, EP, but also of the exciting new path the melodic emcee is charting.

Rob Lucchesi



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