In 2015, she and Mørland gave Norway its third successive Eurovision top ten finish. Now, after last year’s one-off single “To Figure”, Debrah Scarlett is back in earnest with “Cynical Youth”, the first cut from her DYS(U)TOPIA EP.
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Despite her The Voice and Eurovision pedigree, Debrah’s latest offering is firmly at the alternative end of the pop spectrum. Beginning with a vocoder heavy intro, “Cynical Youth” takes us on a heady four and a half minute journey of upheaval and angst.
Beneath the lush instrumentation and stunning vocals, the Norwegian-Swiss singer delivers beautifully brutal lyrics — “I’m as a free as a butterfly, one touch on my wings I die” — while posing existential questions — “Am I acting paranoid just because I think too much?… Are we a cynical youth?”.
As the track progresses, the mood lightens with spatterings of harp providing an almost euphoric atmosphere while Debrah repeats “We were born for love but the world made us see”.
We never get a moment that matchs Debrah’s iconic “honey” drawl from Vienna, but nonetheless “Cynical Youth” is riveting stuff.
Just like the song itself, the accompanying music video offers equal amounts of light and shade. Set mainly in a dark and misty woodland, the clip oozes Scandi-noir — even though it was filmed entirely in Switzerland. Dressed in black, Debrah wanders forlornly as a bright, almost blinding, light constantly shines above her.
Shots of her barefoot in a empty white room intersperse the bleakness, until eventually the flame-haired songstress ascends towards the heavens.
Debrah Scarlett Cynical Youth (Official Music Video)
Debrah Scarlett DYS(U)TOPIA EP
“Cynical Youth” is just one of four tracks on Debrah’s new EP DYS(U)TOPIA — a portmanteau of dystopia and utopia. Unsurprisingly, the remaining three songs are equally as compelling.
Scarlett’s PR compares “Blurry” to “remembering back to loved ones, your childhood, their faces, the smells and tastes” and describes “Neon Eyes” as “a song about a recurring dystopic nightmare that hounded Debrah in early youth” — where in the “Monster Like Me” have we heard that theme before?
“Sweetest Pain” brings the record to a close.
What do you think of “Cynical Youth”? And what about Debrah’s new EP in general? Let us know in the comments below or react using the wiwibloggs app.
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