Wednesday, 3 February 2021

Of Zeitgeist And Ziggurats

As a surfer of the zeitgeist I am in the fortunate position of being sent lots of new music, far more than I ever have time to listen to, which means something about the email has to catch my eye if I am going to investigate further. Sometimes its the artist, sometimes its the label, and sometimes its the promo pitch. 

For today's selection it was definitely the latter. How could I resist a press release that starts: "The title of the new album is taken from the name of a Babylonian ziggurat that was constructed with the aim of reaching the heavens and is thought to have inspired the story of the Tower of Babel"?

When it then went on to say "It is a concept album on which each song is told from the perspective of a mythological creature of the artist's own invention" I was hooked. And even more hooked when I listened to it.

The album in question is "Etemenanki" by Kate Koenig. She describes her style as 'experimental folk', which sounds about right to me. 

I know what you're all thinking: "Not that old chestnut again! Does the world really need yet another concept album about Babylonian ziggurats and mythological creatures?". Well I'm here to tell you that it does.

It is mostly an acoustic affair, but with some restrained, atmospheric arrangements that work really well with Kate's voice, particularly on the title track and "Fell To Stone", the first single. The latter has a bit of the feel of The Roche's "Hammond Song" when Robert Fripp noodled away in the background to great effect. It does it me anyway. 

The album is available now on Bandcamp and Spotify. You can also get hold of Kate's previous album "Haircuts for Barbers" on Bandcamp. 

Here's the lyrics video for the title track. You may get a message saying that the NFL has blocked its use on this application, but if you click on "Watch on YouTube" it works fine.


For me the only downside of preparing this post is that the regular repetition of the word "ziggurat" has got it stuck in my head, and I find myself incessantly singing it to this old Dave Dee rune. But even that isn't really a downside. 

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