Review: Eitarnora - Murmurations (2012) 1


artist: Eit­ar­nora
release: Mur­mur­a­tions
format: MC
year of release: 2012
label: Brave Mys­ter­ies
dur­a­tion: 40:00

More intrepid new dir­ec­tions into acous­tic music for Brave Mys­ter­ies. The duo Eit­ar­nora firmly caught my atten­tion with this five-part album of pon­der­ous and for­lorn com­pos­i­tions for gui­tar, voice, and organ.

I’m temp­ted to relate the music on Mur­mur­a­tions to the neo­folk genre, or par­tic­u­larly to that cur­rent of music focus­ing on com­plet­at­ive, nature-inspired songs - and I have in fact done so by includ­ing “Wish­ing for Sleep” in my recent mix. How­ever, while there are points of con­ver­gence, Eit­ar­nora sets itself apart quite clearly with a sense of style and com­pos­i­tion that is ori­ginal. The often long tracks on this album tend much more toward clas­sical gui­tar suites than folk­songs, with fin­ger­picked melod­ies that rarely repeat, but wander nat­ur­ally towards their des­tin­a­tion without retra­cing steps. At the same time, the organ parts add a dron­ing qual­ity, and the fra­gile fal­setto voice fills a unique upper sound layer.

So, it’s not really the musical style that con­nects Eit­ar­nora to most other artists in the dark acous­tic corner, but rather the atmo­sphere. Mur­mur­a­tions feels like a very per­sonal jour­ney through rugged but calm North Amer­ican land­scapes, con­stantly drift­ing and stum­bling upon the unex­pec­ted. In a way, the sound and play of this album is as rough (or lo-fi) as the moun­tain ranges and forests of my musical dreams for this album, but that doesn’t bother me one bit. It pos­sesses a charm that I’ve only found in sim­il­arly prim­it­ive freefolk record­ings earlier in the cen­tury like some works by Agit­ated Radio Pilot or United Bible Stud­ies, though again quite dif­fer­ent from those in some respects.

It’ll be clear that Mur­mur­a­tions might be tough to get into if you’re not on the same wavelength as these guys, but I’m really impressed by this album, and Eitarnora’s approach to acous­tic com­pos­i­tions is thor­oughly refresh­ing. So yes, do lend this duo your ears to see if you get the same vibe as I’m get­ting.

[vimeo 48321302]

Reviewed by O.S.

Track­list:

1. Time (5:39)
2. Moun­tain­top (9:47)
3. Wish­ing for Sleep (5:23)

4. Soft Blooms (10:42)
5. Don’t Leave, Lover (8:29)