As we walk slowly along the road that leads us to this so-called “new normality”, we get the new work by OLS “Widma”, a Polish group of only one member, Anna Maria Oskierko, this being her third album after her debut album “Ols ”Of 2016 and“ Mszarna ”of 2018.
“Widma” which in Spanish means “Spectrum”, is a Dark-Neofolk album, where the music is performed entirely by polyphonic vocal harmonies accompanied by some percussion, and was released on April 17, 2020 under the label of the record company Pagan Records.
The album has been recorded, mixed and mastered at Nowy Sącz Studios by Piotr “Armia” Pietrzak. The photographs illustrating the script are the work of Agnieszka Kowalska and the script by Damian Szpilyk.
As I said at the beginning, Ols’ music is based on vocal polyphonic harmonies with the only accompaniment of various percussion instruments or some wind instruments, leaving the appearance of a piano or electric guitar only in the song “Ukojenie” as something anecdotal. The songs are performed in Polish, in a hypnotic tone as if it were a nightly ritual, which envelops and relaxes you in the 8 tracks that the album “Widma” has.
It begins with the homonymous cut “Widma” that serves as an introduction to immerse ourselves in the atmosphere of the album to continue with “Starucha”, which could be translated as “Old Witch”, where the voice is accompanied by a constant drum while several choruses appear in this mantra.
The third song is “Siostry”, which would be something like “Sisters”, it is another hypnotic cut where the singer’s monotonous voice surrounds us accompanied by various percussion and wind instruments. It is followed by “W Ciemmy las”, whose translation would be something like “In A Dark Forest”, and which introduces us to the depths of a dark forest with the squawk of a bird and an initial recitative that transforms into repetitive music that we are rocking among the leaves of the trees.
The fifth theme is “Ziarenko” which comes to mean “Grain or Seed”. It is a circular theme where the beginning and the end coincide as if it were the cycle of life. “Drzeva Dawno Zmarly”, which would mean “The Trees Have Been Dead for a Long Time”, is another mantra where the percussion accompanies the voice in this ritual that I focus on at a funeral moment.
The last songs are headed by the song I already named before, “Ukojenie”, something like “Consuelo or Alivio”, which begins with a melody performed by a piano, accompanied by Anna’s perpetual voice, later incorporating percussion and emerging the sound of an electric guitar to perform a solo halfway through the song.
And we close this album with the song “Pod Lodem”, which we can translate as “Bajo Los Hielos”, with an entrance melody that is quickly replaced by the sound of walking on the snow, followed by a song by nature. A theme that closes this inner journey, through nature and life.
A complex and risky album in a current moment where we insert more and more filling instruments in each album, and that opens the door to a musical style that I did not know, which brings us to the present what could be ancient ceremonial songs from cultures of the past.
As all this is a personal interpretation, I leave a link to the album on the YouTube platform so that you can listen and enjoy 45 minutes of tranquility if the ads leave you.
Ols – Widma
8 Final Note
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