Refocusing and Me(n)tal Health: Erdem’s “Dormir en février”

Erdem. Courtesy of Bandcamp.

Swiss artist Erdem showcases a radical shift in his latest release “Dormir en février”. Following the suicide of his best friend and artist Mathias, Erdem’s past as a producer of dynamic electronic funk and disco has transitioned to slow, deliberate metal. Using only a semi-functioning MacBook, he produced darker tracks after finding inspiration in his deep rooted passion for heavier music and released the album in February of 2019- one year after his friend’s death. The album cover is a photograph his late friend took just before taking his life.

Album cover for “Dormir en février”

In Dormir en février’s progression, it feels as through Erdem’s instrumentation strips away layers of darkness. The album is cinematic, dark, brooding, and intense. In contrast, Erdem’s 2016 release, You Are A Living People, is a bouncy soundscape of mediterranean disco and funky bass lines.

Erdem explains the transition,

“This album is my attempt to capture a glimpse of all the emotions and thoughts I’ve had in the past regarding trauma, my relationships, family, dreads of youth, and the circumstances of life….

My friend’s death really helped me put things into perspective. It made me immediately realize what was a waste of time and what was important. In rough times, you see peoples true faces. I realized that I’ve been forever trying to please and impress people that didn’t really care about me, and I went back to the roots of what i was doing purely for myself and my true friends. Some people can put strong feelings into beautiful words that will resonate with complete strangers forever. I always aim to do the same with my music.”

Erdem for Found.

With the “urban landscape of Switzerland as a backdrop, the freezing forests of winter, the empty streets at night, and the vague, anxious feeling of uncertainty that comes with it all”, Erdem does just that. 

Dormir en février is available on Spotify, Apple Music, and Soundcloud.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) provides free and confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please consider contacting them if you or someone you know is in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.