Nalle - Wilder Shores of Love (4 stars)

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Nalle - Wilder Shores of Love

(alt.vinyl)

Inspired by the Greek myth of doomed lovers Hero and Leander, and named after a Cy Twombly painting, the third album by vocalist Hanna Tuulikki, viola player Aby Vulliamy and multi-instrumentalist Chris Hladowski fuses ancient and modern in a song cycle of love and loss.

Bookended by two solitary slide-guitar laments and fleshed out by dustbowl harmonica, pounding piano, medieval drums and even a furious fuzz-box laden Turkish saz, at the album’s heart is Tuulikki’s remarkable voice, which swoops, trills and keens its way to delirium and redemption. In between, free jazz raptures and east European harmonies conjoin the ecstatic and the mournful in this most intensely bittersweet of purgings.

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