Album Review

Islaja – “Meritie” – [Fonal Records]

victoria west   6/28/2011   A Library, CD

Islaja is the solo project of Merja Kokkonen from Finland. Islaja is a member of the trio Herrta Lussu Assa (other members are Lau Nau and Kuupuu). Islaja’s other albums already a part of the KFJC library however, “Meritie” is her debut on Fonal Records released in 2004. “Meritie” in Finnish translates to: main sea, seaway and sea route. It makes sense as an album title for this piece of work as I could decipher some underwater whale and dolphin cries and imagine the bleak icy white Nordic landscapes. Other strange and unusual sounds heard include accordion, scratchy string instruments, mouth harp, harpsichord, metal detector noises and glockenspiel all complement Islaja’s spooky whispery vocals. “Meritie” is an experimental, psychedelic, abstract folk album that is mysterious and beautiful in every way.

-victoria west*

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