One of Estonia’s most magical voices and a Baltic folk star, Mari Kalkun brings us a mesmerizing third solo album, “Ilmamõtsan”.
Mari Kalkun’s solo career officially kicked of 10 years ago when she recorded “Üü tulõk”, her first solo effort. That debut was followed three years later by “Vihmakõnõ”, and now after seven long years comes “Ilmamõtsan”.
If you have ever had a chance to see Mari live (we absolutely loved her concert at this year’s Tallinn Music Week), then you won’t be surprised that her minimal music is incredibly intense at the same time. It’s peaceful but perplexing, direct but mysterious.
It’s also true about “Ilmamõtsan”, this new collection of twelve folk-inspired, but absolutely fresh songs written in Estonian and Võro language.
Mari Kalkun’s music does sound archaic because of all the old chants behind Mari’s musical upbringing and the arrangements of her own material. Her voice is usually accompanied with kennel – a traditional Estonian zither – or instruments like accordion, harmony or archaic piano.
But the songs she writers – usually all by herself, just sometimes she borrows other people’s poems – can also sound very modern because of Mari’s performance itself, but also because of the live loops she uses to layer her voice.
Mari admits it’s very important for her whom and what she sings about. So many of her songs are devoted to her loved ones or some groundbreaking moments in life, like birth, death or wedding. But also to the sheer beauty of everyday life.
The 31-year-old artist remains one of the most vivid examples of how you can teleport traditional music into the 21st century without losing anything of the original inspirations’ clarity and gracefulness.
Stream “Ilmamõtsan” LP on Spotify.