Une Meeles – Maarja Nuut (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

unspecified-4If music at it’s most frivolous is about throw away tunes and bland lyricism that aims only to give you a soundtrack to another routine night on the town, then Estonian fiddler Maarja Nuut sits at the other extreme of such an ideal. Une Meeles translates as “In the Hold of a Dream” and it is a title most apt for the cinematic and compelling music to be found within.


The heart of these songs lies in village folksong but when rendered through loop pedals and ambient electronic sounds the result is a mystical dream world of music. It sounds like the soundtrack to ancient stories, otherworldliness, paganistic mythologies and the very landscape itself: melting glaciers, stark landscapes, and the timelessness of the world as revealed by such empty spaces.


It doesn’t matter that we may not be familiar with the language delivering the words; they just become one more instrument in the musical texturing, another ethereal layer, one more subtle thread in this exotic weave. Maarja has gained fans across the world and none other than Simon Le Bon described her music as “what it sounds like when the snow sings,” and I think she would be very happy with that.

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