Review: Jahrtal - Zwei Lieder (2007)


artist: Jahrtal
release: Zwei Lieder
format: CD-R, MP3
year of release: 2007
label: None (CD-R), Woven Wheat Whis­pers (MP3)
dur­a­tion: 13:58

detailed info: dis​cogs​.com

Jahrtal is a neo­folk pro­ject by Ewald Spiss, from Aus­tria. He has been act­ive in music for many years, with efforts in exper­i­mental piano music and sound­scapes, among other things. Samples of this mater­ial can be found on his web­site at www​.ewald​-spiss​.de. Now, after a rel­at­ively inact­ive period, he returns with a this new pro­ject and its first release, Zwei Lieder. It is released in a very lim­ited CD-R with nice art­work by Ewald him­self, or altern­at­ively as a down­load edi­tion at Woven Wheat Whis­pers.

This little EP con­tains two tracks. The first is based on a tra­di­tional folk song from Sieben­bür­gen, and it is gently built up with gui­tar, banjo, flute and soft layered vocals. The lyr­ics are sym­bolic, and are basic­ally about a girl who won’t suf­fer to be forced into the com­pan­ion­ship of a cer­tain man. “Abschied” is based on a poem by Von Eichen­dorff, with music by Ewald. It is in the same calm vein of neo­folk, also with gui­tar and banjo, but also joined by the beau­ti­fully soft sound of the duduk, a double reed instru­ment of Armenian ori­gin. The song is very relax­ing, and ends with the duduk play­ing solo.

This is a nice ‘debut’ of this pro­ject, with two calm tracks of neo­folk, sim­ilar in sound to pro­jects like Orplid and For­seti. Of course, there is room for improve­ment, mostly in terms of vocal per­form­ance and vari­ation in the music, but I hope this will be bet­ter on future releases. And I hope there will be any, because this is a prom­ising pro­ject, and I advise lov­ers of neo­folk to keep an eye on it.

Reviewed by O.S.

Track­list:

1. Es saß ein klein wild Vögelein (4:23)
2. Abschied (9:35)

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