Album Review

Nalle – “By Chance Upon Waking” – [Pickled-egg Records]

Zoltan   7/11/2006   A Library, CD

Glasgow band on the Pickled Egg label (Daniel Padden, Volcano the Bear) This is their debut album released in 2005. Hanna Tuulikki (vocals, kantele, flutes, plus she’s from Finland), Aby Vulliamy (viola) and Chris Hladowski (bouzouki, clarinet). All three group members also perform with Scatter, and Vulliamy and Hladowski play in The One Ensemble of Daniel Padden, whose ‘Live at VPRO Radio? record was added to KFJC in spring of 2006.

Tuulikki’s voice sounds as dissonant as can be, you’ll love it or hate it. Imagine Bjork and Chan Marshall and Cyndi Lauper singing traditional Chinese opera. The listener is rarely given a vocal resting place, the stringed instruments keep the journey grounded as they pluck and drone and wander, dipping into sounds from Eastern Europe, Pakistan, and Scotland. Difficult first listen, I liked it better when I listened later…it gets more honest once you meet and greet it on its own terms.

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