5 Songs that inspired Adna

A Weekly5 special edition.

It would have been easy to miss her, this small, petite woman. Dressed in loose black trousers and a flowing blouse. So simple and without shoes, she stood there on the stage. No showmanship would have destroyed this devotional scene. But the people did not miss her because they had come for her: Adna Kadic.

Adna Kadic’s concert was a blast. Not because the people went crazy. Nor because the stage was shaken by imposing walls of guitars. No, it was like an hour-long, dreamy flight; a feather-light fall, a leaden jump in the air.

I vividly remember this concert, the first time I saw Adna live on stage in Switzerland’s capital back in 2015. A couple of months prior, I received a promo copy of her second album, Run, Lucifer

Everything about the record blew me away – starting with the cover: In front of a grey wall stands this woman with large, deep eyes. The gaze is filled with heartbreaking melancholy and an ancient sadness. As vulnerable as a flower and as steadfast as a rock in the surf.

Adna’s parents fled to Sweden during the Balkan war. Adna was born in 1994 and grew up in Gothenburg. Two hearts beat in her chest: one Swedish and one Bosnian. A duality that also runs through her creative work.

She began her musical education at an early age. At 16, she uploaded videos to YouTube and was discovered by the label Despotz Records. Adna released her first EP shortly before she came of age, followed by Night, her debut album.

In 2017, Adna gifted the world a third record, Closure, featuring another collection of stunning songs. Once again, the artist provided achingly emotional lyrics, paired with intimate and poetic yet overwhelmingly epic soundscapes. 

Listening to her music, attending her shows was a remarkable experience. You could feel that something was in the air. That she was destined for greatness. 

And then followed silence.

In November 2020, Adna posted on Instagram.

Can’t believe I’m finally able to write this, but here it comes: My new record is finished and mixed. Thought of keeping it for myself, but then I also thought: It’s been a 3,5 year-long thing to come to this point, so it could maybe be nice to share it as well.

The new record, Black Water, will be released on the 17th of September. Adna already released three singles, building anticipation and demonstrating how her music has evolved over the past years.

So it is a perfect opportunity to dive deeper into the mind of Adna. I’ve reached out to her, and thankfully, she was willing to share five songs with us that inspired her artistic work.

Bon Iver – Perth

I never really get tired of this song, and it’s probably one of my favourite songs ever. I was in my early teens when I listened to the first EP of Bon Iver for the first time, and I assume that’s why the band became the one band I always go back to. Their music changed my view of what music can be, somehow, because it was just something completely new compared to what I had heard before. It sounds very dramatic, but that’s how it felt back then. And this specific song from the first album is just great. 

Daughter – Landfill

Landfill is the first song I ever listened to by Daughter, and it was when I started writing songs more regularly, or how to call it, by myself. So, it naturally became a very big inspiration. Similar to the music of Bon Iver, I was just very inspired by, what for me, felt like a different way of writing music, and also in terms of sound. Through this music, I found a music world that I felt very comfortable in, if that makes sense. 

Grouper – Headache

I discovered this song only recently and have been listening to it more or less every day since then. I just love its sound, the melodies are beautiful, and I’m really happy about the fact that it’s 5+ minutes long. So, whenever I want to get into the mood of writing now, I put this song on. 

Cigarettes After Sex – K.

In this case, I’d like to say that the entire album is really great. I never listen to just one of the songs, but always the whole album, and it’s perfect. I wish I had something more to say about it, but it’s just one of those records that I enjoy listening to at any time. 

Susanne Sundfør – Undercover

The voice of Susanne is one of my favourite voices, and I think her songwriting is beautiful. I also find it very inspiring how she uses the full range of her voice in every single song in a very beautiful way. To anyone who hasn’t heard Undercover yet, I really recommend listening to and watching the live version at Stoller Hall. It’s stunning, and I feel destroyed afterwards, every time, in a good way, of course.

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