Russia, 2021, Circassian folk

JrpjejTaboo: Songs of Love & Death: I had to do a double-take at what I was listening to when the female vocals came in on the first track. I didn’t remember there being a woman in the band… ah. There wasn’t. I remembered Jrpjej’s music as being very, very masculine, but the 2020 pandemic took its toll on the band. They lost their main vocalist, and another member left the quartet. That left only two guys. They reformed as a trio, taking on a new vocalist, a woman. Excellent. Foreign female folk vocals do it for me every time anyway! Jrpjej appears to be on a mission to stretch the conceptions of what “traditional” music is or can be, bringing into this specific folk tradition foreign instruments such as the guitar, the cello, and German bagpipes. Still, this music strikes me as barebones, despite how “post-traditional” it’s trying to be.

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