Ahead of tomorrow’s release of her stunning new album Djinn, Swedish producer, composer and sound designer Catharina Jaunviksna, a.k.a Badlands has shared a sweeping new video for “Let Go.” As Djinn doubles as a memorial to Jaunviksna’s late mother who passed under unclear circumstances, so too does the video first shared by Big Takeover. Using authentic 16mm film from when her mom was growing up in the north of Sweden, Jaunviksna explains: “‘Let Go’ is a tribute to life and a study in the transience of everything. The track and video reflects how temporary everything is — one moment it’s there, the next it’s gone. Memories are cloudy and hard to trust, but they are what makes us. It represents the art of letting go and the different stages in that incredibly challenging process. But in the end, you’re free.”
Watch / Share: “Let Go”
For Jaunviksna, Djinn has become a telling image of how the darkness in her own life culminated a couple of years ago. When she thought life couldn’t get any worse, her mother was found dead in her apartment. She’d had a bad addiction for a long time, which could have contributed to her sudden passing – but there were a number of mysterious circumstances linked to her death, which led to many difficult and unanswered questions. While waiting for answers that were long overdue, the uncertainty made Jaunviksna paralyzed and desperate. In the middle of that unreal and macabre situation, the first grains for Djinn were sown.
“I spent every night in the studio, making dark repetitive beats. It was almost as if I was in a trance, channeling something” Jaunviksna says. “But as time went by, life started to make sense again as the tracks developed into tunes, and soon I could see that they represented different stages in the coping process.” Each song on Djinn approaches the art of letting go in different ways – through resilience, sorrow and spirituality. The result is a stunning, delicately composed collection, paying homage to Badlands’ electro, post-punk and new wave influences, and in the end, something fresh, new and all her own.
Early in her life, Jaunviksna was shaped by punk, hardcore and other DIY scenes, but as she discovered synths and sampling as a teenager, slowly starting to build her own musical sanctuary where sound textures and moods became more important. After having worked mainly with film scores, she formed Badlands in 2012 to make a home for her growing pile of song sketches and musical desires. Debut EP Battles Within (2012) was followed by Tutu (2013) and the critically acclaimed album Locus (2016) became a token for her dark and distinct sound told through warm reassuring melodies. In April of 2020, she dropped the 10 minute doubletrack “Fantasma I/Fantasma II” as a first peek of what’s to come.
Jaunviksna is also a touring musician and has played synths and keys with The Radio Dept. She has a strong kinship with the vivid electro community in Dublin, Ireland, where she’s lived on and off over the years. She founded the production company and record label on which Djinn will be released, RITE in Malmö, from where she’s composing commissioned original music and sound designs for film and theater on a regular basis.