In one of her quickest turnarounds to date, Sevdaliza returns with “Martyr,” one month after the release of “Darkest Hour.” The second single from her as-of-yet untitled second album, “Martyr” distances itself from the previous single in production; while “Darkest Hour” incorporated a dark dance beat to the singer’s unique production, “Martyr” has a much more lived in quality. Here, rock drums, Spanish guitar, and sneering violin cozy up against glitchy beats and Sevdaliza’s fierce vibrato, juxtaposing the artificial and the natural. It’s a welcomed pivot — as was “Darkest Hour” — proving the singer can add to the trademark sound she perfected on 2017's ISON without losing any of its intensity.
Much like the first single, “Martyr” deals in romance (or lack thereof). Opening with the line “lover, you’re killing me kind,” Sevdaliza makes it clear she is uninterested in further pursuing her current relationship. She emphasizes this stance in a later lyric — “I’m where love lost her backbones — from which she goes to list the things she sees through in the world around her: intentions, lies, fallen guardians. As with several of the singer’s songs, the writing is quite minimal, relying on repetition and abstract verbiage to entrance its listeners. The bridge is her wordiest on record, with descriptions of despairing images before placing blame on her partner for the dissolution of what they had together. “Martyr” is pure tragedy, but Sevdaliza sounds her most assured in these desperate instances.