Berlin singer of 'alien pop' music, Anna Aliena, has released two variations of the Hungarian classic, “Gloomy Sunday.” The song was a global hit of the 1930s, and was performed as stock material during the swing era of jazz by big-band leaders such as Billy Holiday, Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, Gene Krupa, Duke Ellington, and the Dorsey Brothers. It was originally written in 1933 by the Hungarian composer Rezsö Seress, who wrote the song in an apparent effort to make himself a musical success. “Gloomy Sunday” is a song full of yearning, pain, and regret (the Great Depression and the rise of fascism in Seress' home nation, Hungary, were happening concurrently). Its heartbreaking themes of death and futility caused a wave of mass suicide throughout the civilized world, and 'Gloomy Sunday' was almost banned. In the nineteen thirties and forties, the song's infamously dismal overtones were enormously popular. Today, Anna Aliena's dark, operatic style fits them like a glove in these, her two modern renditions, “Lovers in War” and “Suicide Drive.”
Aliena, whose EP, “Cinderella.,” was published by Go!Diva Records worldwide in August of 2012, is classically trained and possesses a remarkably strong voice in the mezzo-soprano range. Her style of goth revival is typified by a powerful emotional undercurrent in each of her songs, which she builds into a fugue-like tower of tension before soaring above the wall of music with clarity, vivacity and passion. She places her music into a genre all its own: alien pop.
“Gloomy Sunday (Suicide Drive)” is a sprint toward certain doom at breakneck speeds. A digital arrangement of organs, hammering beats, and the rising and falling of Aliena's own arresting vocals, the piece is impossible to hear without experiencing a touch of anxiety, a tinge of fate, and a twang of the heartstrings. Like much of her other music, Aliena's “Suicide Drive” edition of Seress' classic is an intense ocean of instrumentation and operatic beauty.
Her other release, “Lovers in War,” is more traditionally goth-inspired, yet Aliena uses too many of her own techniques to call the track traditional in any way. True to her “alien pop” subtext, the single is entirely hers in tone and performance. The keyboards lift and swirl, the drums beat out a tribal, raw rhythm, and her trilling, commanding voice lies atop the sound like velvet on a turbulent ocean. The accompanying music video is properly morbid and black, and Aliena, herself, appears as dainty and disturbing as an undead doll, moving through the trees, rooms and walkways of a gorgeous ruins.
Aliena has penned new, highly poetic lyrics for each version. She says of her words, “The song deals with a suicide I’ve never committed…”
For music fans, “Gloomy Sunday” represents one of the art's most treasured and historic pieces. For Anna Aliena fans, “Suicide Drive” and “Lovers in War” are destined to represent some of her most thrilling and distinguishing accomplishments.
The singles “Suicide Drive” and “Lovers in War”are distributed globally by MondoTunes (www.MondoTunes.com) and is available at iTunes for convenient purchase and download
MondoTunes (www.mondotunes.com) supplies the largest music distribution in the world and provides upstream services for many major labels in search of breakout artists. While most independent distributors reach only 45-50 retailers despite charging needless monthly and yearly fees, MondoTunes reaches over 750 retailers and mobile partners in over 100 world regions without any monthly or yearly fees.