5 essential tunes that will get you hooked on Maarja Nuut

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November 19, 2017
Nick Jarvis
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Everyone loves Estonian violinist and singer Maarja Nuut.

“A striking solo violinist rooted in local folk but taking it closer to the psychedelic,” wrote Mojo.

“There’s an experimental otherness that marks her out as a Baltic Björk,” said Songlines. “As if the Velvet Underground had morphed into an Estonian folk band … Unique, extraordinary and as warm as it is weird.”

“She's amazing,” added Fatcat Records A&R Dave Howell. “An entrancing performer totally in control of what she does and making something that is both rooted in Estonian culture/traditions, whilst also pushing somewhere new and feeling very contemporary.”

Australians get the chance to see Maarja Nuut and her loop pedals, violin and extraordinary voice in intimate surrounds in January 2018, when she performs at the Seidler Penthouse in Milsons Point on 9, 10 and 11 January.

In the meantime, if you’re intrigued but unfamiliar with Nuut’s futuristic Baltic folk stylings, get acquainted below.

1. Maarja Nuut – Une meeles

Recorded live for Estonian TV, this clip demonstrates how Nuut uses loop pedals to create angelic, ethereal soundscapes of her own voice and violin playing. The title track from her second album, Une meeles means “In the hold of a dream”.

2. Maarja Nuut – Veere, veere päevakene

Hypnotic looping that’s more reminiscent of Sigur Ros than what you might associate with folk music. According to one YouTube commenter, Veere, veere päevakene is a traditional folk song called “Roll, roll, dear sun” from the shores of Lake Peipus, on the border between Estonia and Russia.

3. Maarja Nuut – Kargus

"Dangerously beautiful" is how The Line of Best Fit described Kargus, a track Nuut says is "the feeling when looking over the land that is entirely covered with snow and there seems no end." The melody came to her when collaborating with a Tuareg musician, so also represents an imaginative desert landscape (she's never been to a desert before).



4. Maarja Nuut – Hobusemäng

On the flip side of ethereal Baltic folk we have Hobusemäng ('Horse Game'). It’s Nuut’s take on a traditional Estonian kids song – all hypnotic clicks, forthright singing and loops of violin that steadily build in intensity.

5. Maarja Nuut – ÕDANGULE

Put this on loop in your headphones while it drizzles outside and imagine you’re being lulled to sleep in a dark, misty forest on the shores of the Baltic Sea.



See Maarja Nuut in an intimate performance at the Seidler Penthouse on 9, 10 and 11 January. Tickets are $89 and are strictly limited – grabs yours here.

Photo: Kaupo Kikkas

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