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LA-based Sudanese-American artist Dua Saleh (they/them) announces their signing to Ghostly International with “daylight falls.” The standalone single follows three EPs since 2019 — heralded by The New York Times (“commanding”), NPR (“visionary”), and Pitchfork (“ambitious and riveting”) — and Saleh’s breakout role in the Netflix series Sex Education, now starting its fourth and final season.
“daylight falls” finds Saleh taking cues from the high-stakes angst of pop-punk, manifesting light from the darkness above a raw and impressionistic mix of acoustic strums, symphonic swells, and booming percussion, produced with Tim Randolph. “I was thinking about a point when I was at my lowest, and being a friend for kids who might be feeling the same, at the brink of it, especially with all that’s going on with trans and abortion legislation. Everyone’s going through it.”
Directed by Braden Lee, and through the lens of Dua’s first-hand experiences, the accompanying music video expresses the turbulent nature of dysphoria, the emphatic presence of depression, as well as the tumultuous persistence of anxiousness.
“It’s about healing and finding solace in people willing to listen to you in times of darkness. To encourage anyone to express troublesome feelings with someone, especially when you’re feeling at your lowest. I hope my art can be used as a tool to calm people in times of duress. My home country of Sudan has broken out into a Civil War and a number of people are dealing with the effects both physically and mentally. I’d like to highlight a non-profit organization, Darfur Women Action Group, that is working to assist marginalized communities in Sudan and in Darfur at this time. Please contribute what you can.”
Across a fluid catalog, Saleh — who identifies as non-binary — has deftly fused and inverted genre conventions, traversing R&B, soul, rock, hip-hop, electronic pop, and beyond with a socially conscious style driven by melody, grit, and bravado. The signing to Ghostly International signals the start of a new era of music on the way.
released September 20, 2023
Produced by Tim Randolph
Written by Dua Saleh, Tim Randolph, Linus Hablot
Dua Saleh made a lasting first impression in 2019 with their debut Nūr EP, receiving critical acclaim from Pitchfork, The
FADER, COLORS, and more. Born in Sudan and raised in the Midwest, Dua is queer, gender nonconforming, and is addressed with they/them pronouns. Dua invites listeners into an undefined space through full-sensory lyricism and the singularity of their distinct voice....more
Like so many others, this came like a bolt out of the blue and, even though it's well before payday, I had to have this astonishing album on vinyl to prove it exists. The feel of the tunes makes me feel like the Impressions do, Curtis Mayfield, the big spaces and instinctive horns and stuff drifting in and out. Great grooves and I can see lots of ghosts nodding along to this with big smiles on their faces. At last! Anthony Cottrell