I bet you thought that I was totally 100% on top of all the latest Mick Pedaja news. Well, here’s some that I missed. He has this new project, SUMRA, which takes the electronic side of his work to the next level. Laniakea is a seven track ambient album which incorporates samples of vocal techniques from around the world into gorgeously floaty dreamscapes. Enjoy!
Let’s start the week off with some good news from the Mick Pedaja camp. Not only is his new album, Hingake//Breathe out on Nov 18th but there’s an accompanying new single. Home is, as far as I can tell, Mick’s first song to be released in English. As well as the sense of being in touch with the esoteric, this song includes an interestingly textured vocal sample breakdown section, which reminded me of a Philip Glass choral piece, or Anna Meredith’s work.
Grand stuff. Can’t wait for the album.
I’m continuing to make good on my threat to always keep you up to date with the latest Mick Pedaja news. There’s a new single! Here it is!
Valgeks is slow and thoughtful, like the rest of his work, but as his vocals ebb and flow through mysterious lyrics about transcendence and the music moves through an expanded range of sonic textures (there’s a gently squalling electric guitar, and a beat almost threatens to kick in at one point) I feel like we’re seeing something new take shape.
Valgeks is the first single from Mick Pedaja’s upcoming album Hingake/Breathe
(A linguistic aside: If you’ve been following along, his first album was ‘Ärgake/Awaken’ – as far as I can work out, the -ake suffix on some verbs makes the plural imperative case so we might be looking at future records called things like Hakake/Start!, or Kuulake/Listen! if the pattern continues)
If you haven’t had a chance to listen to Säkert or Hello Saferide yet you should get round to it. I’ve been listening these acts for ages now, and this Friday night you could take the opportunity to get in on it too. Both of these bands are really the work of songwriter Annika Norlin. Her lyrics are frank, sweet, explicit, dark, hilarious, tragic and always sit beautifully on top of an adorable melody.
I love her work. A great introduction is probably the album “Säkert på engelska” which has great English language versions of wonderful songs (particularly The Lakes We Skate On, Can I, November, and Dancing, Though) or “Introducing Hello Saferide” which is funnier, sadder and has more extreme stories – I particularly like Long Lost Penpal and My Best Friend on that record.
These are the kind of songs that you don’t ever totally forget, with tunes that you’ll find yourself humming years down the line. They’re the kind of highly specific but totally universal songs that you could give to a younger friend or relative as a guide to how adulthood is essentially a game of pretend.
We promised you a high level of Mick Pedaja coverage, and here is some of that.
On Eeesti Raadio 2 (which I would say is arguably the world’s best music radio station) there is a very strange program called Hallo Kosmos where esoteric thinkers of all flavours are allowed to explain themselves in a judginess-free environment.
Now, this show had itself a birthday party at the start of June, and as part of that they had esoteric musical thinker Mick Pedaja doing a half hour set. If you want to listen to the set, go to 8:58 on the video in this link. There’s a lovely version of Aeg, a new song in English that I didn’t recognise, and a version of Seis that is SLOWER THAN the Eesti Laul version.
Also, if you press the button marked “Laadi alla” you can download the whole show. Aitäh Raadio 2!
So, Mick and Jüri have done a song together on the TV. They’ve had a busy year of mixed emotions. Jüri came dead last in Eurovision and Mick didn’t even get to go at all, but in a way they’ve come out wiser and more winning than even Jamala did.
In this song, they’re metaphorically kicking back in a remote Estonian cabin, feeling introspective, ‘burning some cigarettes and coming down’. It’s really very, very lovely. Mick’s delicate voice complements Jüri’s smoother tone wonderfully, which is highlighted on the verse they sing together. And then it floats off into wonderland as Mick’s shimmering guitar builds and they sing together ‘Is it a sign?’ in a way that has yet to fail to give me goosebumps.
Mick gets an additional ribbon for his genius badge and we award Juri an additional kudos point for seeing that the future’s bright, the future’s Pedaja.
Seriously. Let’s talk about Mick Pedaja.
It’s January. There was I, doing my musical research for what was shaping up to be a particularly gruelling Eurovision National Final season when suddenly I was transported to a parallel dimension by a song called Seis. It was unlike anything I’d heard. It was weird even for the Estonian song competition, Eesti Laul, which let mind-melting art-thrash weirdoes Winny Puuh compete alongside winsome ballad girls and credible indie.
Seis is a breathtaking moment of stillness – it forces you to slow down and concentrate on the sparse, beautiful arrangement and Mick’s otherworldly voice. After my initial exposure, I was so certain that the people of Estonia would rally behind Mick and send the slowest song of the modern era to Stockholm. Alas, it was not to be and so I resolved to find out more about this mysterious guy.
This is what I know: He’s got an EP/album Ärgake that’s available on UK Spotify which is also beautiful, but in a pastoral and leafy way as opposed to the big blast of cosmic knowledge you get from Seis. He’s also on Soundcloud where he posts the occasional track, makes older work available and has a very exciting stream of recommendations of his own. I haven’t found a way of giving him serious money other than iTunes. Come on Mr Pedaja, let us buy some sort of limited edition triple disc heavy vinyl boxset.