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Hollow by Nocktern (featuring Saigo)

We recently discovered the music of Bulgarian band Nocktern and were carried away into an aesthetically spectacular experience. The band is comprised of fellow artists Stoimen Stoyanov, Boris Malevanov and Tien Nguyen (Saigo), whose diverse collaborative energy produced the richness we experience in their recently released single Hollow.

Slow, emotive, and melancholic, the electronic soundscape is not just a song, it’s a work of art. A soft, stirring opening of electronic ambience and the feel of rain on a cold windowpane. Deep, raw cello lines and light, lucid touches on the piano bring a human sadness to the cooler, almost industrial tones of the backdrop. Vulnerable, hauntingly melancholic vocal work artfully expresses the sound and feel of hollowness.

And then a slow and masterful build begins. The hollowness and sadness of the opening is piece by precious piece overlaid with the ripples of strings; melodic lines on the synthesizer; raw and heavy strokes of the electric guitar; warm and increasingly driven percussion beats. Finally, the soaring and eventual eruption of sound and explosion of feeling brings the song to a climax. Captivating. Beautiful. Soothing and disturbing, all at the same time. It’s not a song, it’s an experience.

Stoyanov began making music in 2006 and released his first EP in 2016 entitled No Sugar Added, a creative mix of trip-hop, nu jazz, ambient and neo classical. He began performing his compositions live in collaboration with other musicians. 2017 saw the release of a solo piano album of three songs called Pieces of Lyla. In 2020 a new member was involved in the project – Boris Malevanov, whose work behind the drums adds unique rhythms and dimension to Nocktern’s pieces. The band is currently working on a new album for release.