Sudanese-American artist Dua Saleh has shared a rallying new single with the release of “daylight falls,” which arrives as the first piece of a new body of work to be released through Ghostly International. After releasing a trio of back-to-back EPs that began with their debut Nūr in 2019 they effectively established themselves as a triple threat. One more than capable of shifting their poetic lyricism and mercurial vocals to become a lightning rod for everything from hip-hop to alternative and pop.
Their new single is a synthesis of those genre adaptabilities: a riveting and electrifying anthem with which Saleh explores the abysmal nature of rock bottom. “I was thinking about a point when I was at my lowest, and being a friend for kids who might be feeling the same, at the brink of it, especially with all that’s going on with trans and abortion legislation,” they explained. “Everyone’s going through it.”
With “daylight falls” comes an empathetic call to join Saleh in the darkness — to stay warm by the kindling hope they manifest across the song’s radiantly surging melody. Against a powerful downpour of acoustic strums and their own ecstatic cries, the song breaks like a fiery dawn. Offering an overflowing hope in the inevitable — that this too shall pass — as well as the essential comfort of solidarity with those similarly suffering.
A music video for “daylight falls,” directed by Braden Lee, earnestly captures the state of dysphoria in which the song finds itself embroiled. A visually stunning collection of shots — Saleh illuminated by a blazing bonfire, handfuls of pills floating precariously against gravity back into their hands, and various scenes that find them howling into dark liminal spaces — spotlight the isolating nature of depression and anxiety. Like the song, it urges desperately for human connection forged by an affectionate understanding of our seemingly disparate but inherently similar struggles.
“It’s about healing and finding solace in people willing to listen to you in times of darkness,” Saleh said of the music video. “To encourage anyone to express troublesome feelings with someone, especially when you’re feeling at your lowest. I hope my art can be used as a tool to calm people in times of duress.”
Saleh’s new song also looks to the civil war that has ravaged their homeland of Sudan, affecting the lives of people across the country. The track supports women-led anti-atrocities non-profit organizations like Darfur Women’s Action Group, which works to empower and support survivors of the Darfur genocide, both in Sudan and in the diaspora.
Words: Steven Ward
Watch the music video for “daylight falls” the new single from Dua Saleh below!