In late 2013, Jordan-born, Toronto-raised musician Ayah effectively killed off her alias on the record “Better Run” and rebranded herself under a new name: Merna.
The following year, she returned with a new album titled The Calling, with A Tribe Called Quest‘s Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Makai Black sharing production duties over the course of ten tracks.
At its core, The Calling was a very personal album for Merna, who shared her experiences encountering a rich tapestry of culture, music and people of all ethnicities during her childhood upbringing, having moved around quite often as a child.
A few weeks ago (yes, we’re holding up our late pass), Merna returned with a follow-up to her introspective 2014 album with the 7-track EP Sans.
Unlike that previous project, Sans — which at times reaches maximum levels of melancholy — is held down entirely by Merna and her trusty set of white and black keys. As she explained to Noisey, the absence of Ali Shaheed — who went on to score Netflix/Marvel’s Luke Cage — left her in a somewhat lonely place.
It’s also that same feeling of loneliness that ultimately empowered her, explaining that now she felt “I can do it on my own.” The minimalism on Sans is alluring and eerie at the same time, which accentuates the project’s pensive mood.
Stream the EP below.