My first listen to Erki Pärnoja’s new album Leva was very, very good, it hooked me from the first song, Maa, to the last, Saudade, and in between, I alternated toe-tapping with contemplative listening.
Erki Pärnoja is an Estonian musician who has won numerous awards for his work with the indie-pop band “Ewert and The Two Dragons” as well as solo awards from his previous albums, “Himmelbjerget” (2015), “Efterglow” (2017) and and “Saja Lugu” (2018) It is easy to hear why he has been a favourite of the music community, he creates extremely listenable music. His primary weapon is the guitar, however, he is also a wizard at creating interesting soundscapes that harness everything from the Mali band Tinariwen, which he first heard in Canada, my home base, to ethereal instrumentation that has the ability to evoke images of islands at dusk or the solitude of a desert. Erki states: “The whole album is about living and the different lives people lead and that we can’t really get a look into other people’s worlds.”
Leva is the first time that Erki used lyrics with his surrealistic Nordic instrumentals. The lyrics of his opening song MAA “starts off as a harmless dreamy waltz and moves with baby steps into this vast open field with all the space and possibilities in the world.” MAA
I chose this one as an opening for the record because the song is revealing its essence bit by bit. The whole album is about living and the different lives people lead and that we can’t really get a look into other people’s worlds. The song gradually reveals a view into one world. It starts off as a harmless dreamy waltz and moves with baby steps into this vast open field with all the space and possibilities in the world. In the middle of the album, Erki states that the song EHA “is a story about the search for inner peace and belonging. It is also like a wake-up call to one’s self calling out to take a breath and look around.” Closing out the album and the third song with lyrics is SAUDADE. Erki states that this song “sums it all up for me. If you search for materials about Saudade you will find that the word is basically untranslatable. The best way to describe it is the presence of absence. It is a longing for someone or something that you remember fondly but know you can never experience again.” Check out the new video now for Soledad, described by “The Line Of Best Fit” as
“Layered, plucky guitars with angelic, harmony-driven vocals”.
Erki Pärnoja – Soledad
Leva is a cohesive album that engages the listener from the opening chords to the closing string section. I highly recommend this recording, after three listens I could easily listen to it again.
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