Mirrorman & India Czajkowska :: Secretia (Zoharum)

Deeply sincere but more poetically oblique.

Vocalist and multi-instrumentalist India Czajkowska put out a lovely album on Alio Die’s Hic Sunt Leones label five years ago. On Secretia, she collaborates with fellow Pole Mirrorman, whose soft, seductive trip-hop previously showcased the vocals of She.xist on In the Fog, a project dedicated to helping children from poverty-stricken families in Belarus and the Ukraine suffering from a “previously unknown genetic cardiac disorder” brought on by the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, with all proceeds going to its victims. The album was not only admirable but movingly composed.

Secretia claims no such noble agenda, but dovetails neatly with In the Fog, as deeply sincere but more poetically oblique. Track title “Kingdom of Calmness” is an apt description of the place Secretia takes you, somewhere heavily forested and pre-modern. The cover art may be a bit too romance-novel gothic given the alchemy of Czajkowska’s lyrics and for some reason, the pauses between tracks are too long. And while no breakthrough in the genre, the warm discretion with which Mirrorman swaddles Czajkowska’s accomplished and charmingly-inflected song (a little imagination and you can hear shades of Kate Bush and Renaissance’s Annie Haslam) makes it a congenial exemplar.

Secretia is available on Zoharum.

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