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San Francisco, CA | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

San Francisco, CA | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Alternative Indie




"Music Video Premier: Dagmar's "Tumbleweed""

When Iowa musicians Gemma Cohen and Miranda Mallard were looking for the right name for their band, they were struck by the Scandinavian word dagmar. The old Norse word means "lightness of day" and is the name of many woman of power throughout European history. The word matched the harsh and raw but positive quality of their music.

Now Cohen and Mallard are celebrating the release of Dagmar's debut full-length album afterlight, which came out June 6th. We’re excited to premiere the video for their song “Tumbleweed” off the album.

"Tumbleweed" was written when Mallard was in the midst of a divorce—she was ending an abusive relationship and found herself having to step up and fight for her own protection and rights. The song became an anthem for her. - Bitch Media

"Oh Hell No!: Chats with Sharknado 3's Anthony C. Ferrante & David Lowery, Plus Hemming, Marta Pacek Exclusives and Introducing Dagmar"

A few days ago, Iowa duo Dagmar's first video, "Tumbleweed," premiered with Bitch Media and the artists are already shooting their next clip, "What Do You Want," another track from their debut album, Afterlight.

According to Dagmar's Gemma Cohen...

"Creating a visual experience with our music expands our relationship with each song in new ways. This process allows us to reevaluate what they mean to us, and establish deeper connections with each other and our director, Alana Waksman."

Dagmar co-founder Miranda Mallard discusses the album...

"The songs on the album were created in response to some major life challenges we've experienced over the past two years--writing them has been a way of processing and healing. On the other side of these hurdles, we've discovered a newfound light, hence our album title. We hope this music can help other people to find their own silver linings." - The Huffington Post

"Album Review: Dagmar – Afterlight"

Dagmar’s vocal harmonies underpins the ethereal tapestry of their music.

While listening to the album, I found myself frequently caught in the embrace of beautiful vocals, riding each glorious crescendo to resolution while losing track of time and place. At times, the music echoes the harmonies of Fleet Foxes, and at other times it seems to rise from the same wooded atmospherics as Bon Iver. It harbors the aching folk of Iron and Wine.

But none of these comparisons capture the music either. Listening to Dagmar is like listening to the beautiful, hypnotizing songs of two sirens—ones steering you not toward shipwreck, but toward heartbreak. - Little Village Magazine

"Mining the medieval for a modern sound: Dagmar plays the Yacht Club"

Dagmar consists of Gemma Cohen and Miranda Mallard, and though both are quite capable with their instruments (Cohen on bass and Mallard on keyboard and guitar), it’s their arresting vocal performances which form the foundation of the duo’s music.

Their vocal harmonies and solos, often intimately foregrounded in their songs, are deeply affecting, and often quite sophisticated, drawing on methods from classical and medieval music.

The ways these arrangements juxtapose against the rawness of Dagmar’s vocal performances, and the plaintive lyrics they typically articulate, give their music a fascinating emotional texture. The repetition of notes coupled with the driving rhythms of the percussion (played on the album by Jack Lion’s Justin LeDuc), can often feel both hypnotic and ascendant, giving the listener the sense that they’re floating above everything being sung about, observing a person’s pain and the beauty of how they carry it. There is something quite impressive about being able to write songs that can feel at once both wholly ethereal and like a punch to the gut. - Little Village Magazine


afterlight, 2015



Dagmar is an indie classical, harmony driven female duo recently relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area from their prairie homeland of Iowa. A new music project with history, Gemma Cohen (vocals, bass) and Miranda Mallard (vocals, keyboard, guitar) are Dagmar's core. They have attained sister status after having sung together for over 8 years in the trio Rock Paper Scissors, and now in Dagmar since 2014.

Gemma and Miranda create original music while rocking their curly manes and singing from the depths of their souls. Harmonies continue to be a staple for this duo along with influences ranging from Phillip Glass to the Fleet Foxes. Dagmar's sound is raw, challenging, a vulnerable vocal driven exposition of Medieval harmonies and uncrumpled diaries.

Band Members