Merope: Salos LP
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Haunting Lithuanian folk songs and choral works from Merope, latest lambs to the Stroom flock shepherded by Ziggy Devriendt aka Nosedrip, a big big tip to fans of Kara-Lis Coverdale.
Immediately calling to mind strains of the Fonal label circa the mid ‘00s (Islaja, Paavoharju, et al), and likewise lilting, worldly traces of the label’s NSRD/Hardijs Lediņš releases; ’Salos’ is a very non-Sadian suite of pastoralism from the top shelf of Lithuanian music. It’s an effortlessly enchanting listen that never tests the listeners’s patience, carrying us through seven immaculate scenes centred on the lead voice of Indrė Jurgelevičiūtė, and harmonised with the Vilnius Municipal Choir Jauna Muzika, known for their performances of Arvo Pärt’s music.
Perhaps most intriguing is the inclusion of American Pakistani multi-instrumentalist Shahzad Ismaily lending electric piano to the fractal bliss of ‘El Dvipa’ and wistful dreaminess of ‘Luliomoj’ that bookend the set, but if any one song should make you fall for them, try the melt-on-mind delicacy of ‘Vilnia’ and go from there, we reckon.