Badlands: Djinn – Channelling trauma into fine electro-pop tunes

After the death of her mother, Catharina Jaunviksna found solace in the studio

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Artist: Badlands
Genre: Electronic
Label: RITE

The name and work of producer, composer and sound designer Catharina Jaunviksna will be familiar to Irish ears that tune into electronic music. Now back full-time in her native Sweden, from around 2012 to 2015 Jaunviksna lived in Dublin, from where she was involved in what she recalls as a “cool, vivid, inspiring and warm” community of electronic musicians.

Not that the fun stopped, but sometimes it gets interrupted by life events, which brings us to the primary influences behind Djinn: the sudden death of Jaunviksna’s mother a couple of years ago. Initially traumatised, she slowly returned to her natural habitat: the recording studio. There she worked on recurring, dusky rhythms, as much prompted by the loss of her mother as a different kind of emotional distance.

“It was almost as if I was in a trance, channelling something,” she says. “As time went by, life started to make sense again as the tracks developed into tunes.”

You can say that again. If songs such as Out of Reach, Southbound Call, Hearts (a duet with Irish musician J Cowhie) and Julie Ruins Me are riveting, electro-pop expressions of sorrow, then Fantasma I and Fantasma II are the way back to some sort of relief, perhaps even repair.


If you’re looking for an elevator pitch, Djinn My Bloody Valentine crossed with Lykke Li. Or something like that. In other words, terrific.

Tony Clayton-Lea

Tony Clayton-Lea

Tony Clayton-Lea is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in popular culture