Ziggy Alberts’ new album, DANCING IN THE DARK, is a meditation on life, love, protest and poetic pain

Hot on the heels of his sold out debut South African tour, Ziggy Alberts’ latest album, DANCING IN THE DARK, hit the airwaves today. Alberts has spun his own take on folk this time around–something he calls “future folk”–giving himself the creative licence to play around with classic timecodes, synth bass, fresh soundscapes and nuanced topics. 

Indeed I only feel like he’s erred, perhaps, on the basis of letting his singles carry the weight of the album. Only four of the ten tracks serve as album-only material–the rest having been reeled out over the course of the last year as singles, and we have to wait for track six to get to one of the newbies. 

That being said, as far as albums go, Alberts dives in deeper than he ever has before when it comes to his thematic thread. For the most part the central theme here is the human condition, and our flawed and beautiful world. Opener “CAMPFIRE” sings to lighting up your own darkness, while “I BELIEVE” (a personal favourite) is suffused unwavering optimism in the face of adversity. 

He touches on topics of self-expression and identity (“TATTOOS”), waxes lyrical on societal flaws (“THE SUN & THE SEA” featuring Donovan Woods), and even touches on the socio-political grievances of the modern day in “CINNAMON DAZE”. 

In fact his trademark love songs only make an appearance at the tail end of the album. “I’M SORRY” is a searingly candid apology to a lover, weighted in self-deprecating authenticity and gorgeously rendered regret – while “REWIND” lightens things somewhat while wrapping it all up, flecked in Latin influence and frivolously sexy analogy.

Feature pic by Janneke Storm