Saturday, 17 August 2013

Nākšu Es - Staburadze (1978)

I’m having some trouble working out the geographical provenance of Nākšu Es (I Will Come). It’s an album by a charming vocal group of multi-instrumentalist Latvian teenage girls that seems to be a private press made for an Australian tour (hence how I found it in an op-shop in Northcote, Melbourne). But there are pictures on the LP from Australia so, did they make it while they were here, or have they toured Australia before? The one source I could find online that mentions Staburadze even implies that they were based in the U.S. or at least toured there, so this LP's origin is still unclear.

Anyway, Nākšu Es is a nice set of vocal, folky songs from circa 1978, mostly recorded as a live ensemble, if not in front of a live audience. The LP starts off a little slow, but there are some great tracks throughout the album, particularly on side two. There is a great cover of Fernando (by fellow northern Europeans ABBA) sung in Latvian and flourished with some nice flute playing. I like the tracks where the arrangement is a little unconventional such as the excellent minor key number, Vīzija which jumps between a slow, melancholy verse and a driving chorus. Another interesting arrangement is Ar Tevi Vien which is almost reminiscent of Estonian band Collage with it’s jazzy piano and rapid, multipart harmonies. Finally, check out the Latvian calypso (!) of Ardiev Vas on side two.

Label: Private press
Released: 1978
Players: Rita Circene - vocals, flute
Benita Jaundāldere - vocals, guitar
Valda Upenieks - vocals, guitar, mandolin
Skarleta Berkolde - vocals
Rita Grava - vocals, flute
Ausma Līdacis - vocals, guitar

Paul Berkolds - accordion, piano, percussion
Bill Chism - guitar, bass