Songs From Utopia [CH, CZ]

Fre 29.7.2016 - 21:05
Konzert des Monats
Musikbeitrag: freie Spende!

Alternative, Blues, Folk

Mit markanter Stimme und hypnotisierendem Gitarrenspiel fasziniert die Singer-Songwriterin Rebekka Zarkava: Komplexe Akkordstrukturen werden mit gothisch-romantischen Texten kombiniert. Die Lieder erzählen märchenhafte Geschichten á la Oscar Wilde. Jura Dolezal interpunktiert und webt die Songs mit Jazz-Punk-Rock Rhythmen zusammen, welche mal Bebop und dann wieder „Rock trifft auf Buddy Rich“ sind. Oft spielt er sein Schlagzeug mit den Händen. Zusammen wandern Songs from Utopia tief in ein raues und weit entferntes Tal und suchen ‘‘over hills, beyond lakes, engulfed in rivers in the depth of the ocean, up in the clouds in red, in blue.’’

The world of Songs from Utopia is a very dark but beautiful place. A dualistic universe filled with both joy and pain. Blackness and light. It’s a wondrous but threatening habitat filled with breathtaking nature. But like all nature, it’s a vicious one ready to bite back and kill you at any time. An often dystopian world where fierce birds of prey with ‘‘more than 60 eyes’’ circle forever above you ready to swoop down and strike at any time.

Unlike the rivers of Elysium where gentle rose petals glide forever, in this world they are plucked whole from their stems by cruel unsuspecting waters only to ‘‘sink down into the blue and lay on the bottom until a fish swims by and tastes them only to spit them up again.’’ Here, snows fall gently and heavily only to crush beautiful creatures shivering underneath. Fir tree limbs are straining. Harvested wine smacks of salt tears. Don’t let the strolling among the art nouveau flowers fool you. There’s danger and cruelty in these fields. Like some dark noir painting with shadows of black crawling slowly across the canvas only coming to smother the last vestiges of light. Your dress is glimmering, darling, but the black birds are still there close above you.

There is a glorious tension throughout Shivering, this, the third album from the indie dark-folk and Switzerland-based band since their 2010 haunting second album See the Stars. The songs lock you in with their driving force like some hard folk rock raga. It’s not only singer-songwriter Rebekka Zarkava’s almost flawless but edgy, world-weary voice, but her often looping, hypnotizing guitar and complex chord structures and Gothic meets Romanticism lyrics that suck you in. The songs tell a complete story like some dreamy Oscar Wilde fairy tale on a cold winter’s night. Jura Dolezal punctuates and weaves all the songs together with a jazz-punk-rock drum rhythm that is at times Bebop and other times rock meets Buddy Rich, often times playing drums with his hands.

Together Songs from Utopia wander deep into a harsh and distant valley searching ‘‘over hills, beyond lakes, engulfed in rivers in the depth of the ocean, up in the clouds in red, in blue.’’ For whom? ‘‘I search for you,‘’ Rebekka tells us. In ‘‘a dark white world.’’ In ‘‘the blue hours.’’ In the meadow. The snow. The high grass. As the falling leaves drift closer falling to the ground. ‘‘It is grey, a glimmer… and then nothing.’’ Some utopia! But what a heart-stopping landscape this Shivering is.

Shivering is the third album from Czech-Swiss band Songs from Utopia. Arranged with deliberate sparsity, each song is perfectly staged. The acoustics of the great and glorious Prague studio, Sono Records, sound unmistakably real. Songs from Utopia is one of the few bands that does not use any digital processing, applying analogue techniques at each production step. This starts with the recordings, continues with mastering and ends on vinyl, or - as the only digital element - on CD. Lovers of good music who are keen on warmth and sound quality will get their money's worth with Shivering.

Rebekka Zarkava – voc, g
Jura Dolezal – dr, perc