Words by: Andrea Susarrey
Karalena (formerly Lena Fjortoft) is back with a new sound and EP on the way.
Karalena has an ethereal ringing voice that reminds me of women of the 80s like Kate Bush and Cocteau Twins. Yet, her writing style is reminiscent of an even older, more Country or Folk-like approach of storytelling through her lyrics.
Under the name Lena Fjortoft she released a multigenre EP back in 2018. Now performing solely under her full first name, Karalena, she is set to release a more Classic Rock and Country inspired EP this summer. The 6 song project comes full circle thematically, and covers a transitional period of her life spurred on but growth and change. She began writing the EP during her time living in New Orleans and finished it in New York where she is currently based. Speaking to her, Karalena says that even though it’s about heartbreak, and coming to terms with life after love- she realizes that ultimately, it’s about her.
This project goes through the seasons of love and ends with a transformed narrator. The first track on the EP, ‘New Song’, is about waking up in the midst of a dream and not being ready to face the world because of the despair of a broken heart. It’s followed by ‘Hey Blue’ and ‘Lonesome Feeling’, which tap fully into the overbearing heartbreak. With ‘Lonesome Feeling’ being the most Country song on the album, she doesn’t hold back with the emotional delivery of this despair.
‘Number 3’, which is interestingly the fourth track on the EP, is about “Paying respect to a great lover that I had, being nostalgic about it.” This song is about embracing having had rose tinted glasses on when in love, as well as recognizing the reality of when love comes to an end. ‘Too Far Gone’ and ‘Red Lady’ are the final tracks of the EP. “‘Red Lady’ being the most regenerative song on there”– they describe a new perspective after a heartbreak induced metamorphosis. It closes the project after returning full circle through a character arc of embracing suffering to face reality and the high and low emotional tides intrinsic to it.
Karalena‘s new EP is a complete and genuine work across its entirety. Each song on the project has distinct different influences, and sets a completely different mood, all of which are absolutely unique to her voice and delivery. Yet they all come together as one cohesive body of work that has great replay value.