Margutte is proud to publish some of the reviews of the She Owl debut album, made by our editor Jolanda Moletta.
“…for depth, beauty and pure emotion, it’s well worth taking the extra time to get to know this record, and you might just find yourself getting lost in a different world.”
“A reinvention of the nocturne leads a good few of the songs found within the confines of this album – “Behind The Stars” is a case in point – in apparent simplicity but always and forever in the right place…If you are looking for a place in the musical pantheon to catalogue She Owl then she would have to be filed next to Caethua. Whilst considerably more polished and not as far into the forest of despair, She Owl portrays much the same paradigm of urban alienation and illusion but with a certain hypnotic, and eternally forward facing, precision. This self-titled album is a sinuous entrancement.”
“…a lovely set of tunes to get lost in, a magical place where a beautiful voice wraps you in a soft embrace and tells you it’s okay to be lost and not afraid.”
“We usually expect certain albums, in which a singer is at ease with a rather gloomy homeground, coming from the far north. Take as example Agnes Obel or Rebekah Karijord. However, the frontwoman of the “She Owl” project Jolanda Moletta is Italian-born. The eponymous album was recorded in San Francisco, with the help of resident musicians, but the main focus is on Jolanda, whose deep and lovely voice and fine work on the piano marked consistently the mood of the 10 pieces. The songs are mainly in minor, a quiet and melodious dream companion, in which you’d love to get lost inside. Most of all, the title track “She Owl” is a piece of incomparably melancholy rhythmatized with droning tribal drums. Don’t expect for sudden, ecstatic bursts of feeling, everything remains fully acoustic, thumb piano, kalimba, ukulele and percussion cautiously refine the beautiful songs. An album with which you can easily become friends and have a long term relationship.”
“The sound of these atmospheric songs is dark, delicate and fragile, but now and then subliminally threatening… This music seems to come from another time and another world, and despite the dark nouances, these lullabies welcome the listener as a haven of peace, even if it sometimes seems elusive. For friends of SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES, DEAD CAN DANCE, or PJ Harvey this album is definitely worth an in-depth listening.”
“…In order to record fourty, plentiful minutes, perfectly played and produced, making a fresco that possess evocative strenght and lead the listener to discover an outstanding musician…the song ‘Over the Bones’ sounds like a Florence + The Machine outtake (perfectly done, indeed), slightly darker than Miss Welch’s standards… Nightingale is all-rhythm and, even if not electric, it’s pure geometry, with the piano, in more than one occasion supported by percussion, harp and guitar, drawing lines that fade in the ethereal… ”
“The self-titled album, sets ten dark tracks that, between melancholy and introspection, embrace and caress the listener.The album opens with the deep-rooted welcome (played almost solely on voice and piano) of Homewoods and the hypnotic step of the equally enthralling She Owl.Over The Bones, more pressing and lively, shows all its vital force, opening to the contrasts between tension/soothing of Decembers and the deep emotiveness of Behind The Stars . The ethereal and dreamy atmosphere of Nightingale gives way to the ukulele/vocals binomial of the neat Fisherman Queen (with a developing coda) and the veiled rhythmicity of the smooth Hide And Seek.Paper Birds, finally, slow and confidential, introduces the fascinating urge of the concluding Belong.”
“The project She Owl debuts with its full-length album , first work of the Italian multi instrumentalist singer and composer Jolanda Moletta , in collaboration with Dave Mihaly (drums) and various musicians and local artists. Although the album was recorded under the hot San Francisco sun, the authoress chose to get inspiration from the damp and foggy landscapes of the Italian North-West, from where she comes. Winter landscapes , made of icy rivers and snow-capped mountains, are the images that inspired the album and the album itself relays them by the filter of an evocative music for ‘night animals’. She Owl’s music is not made to be played in the daytime. You can listen to it as if there were nothing but the moon behind a cloud of mist and a cloud of cold from the mouth. Sounds that have a mighty evocative power, and lead the listener through nocturnal atmospheres where, if you had no music, your teeth would chatter. A perfect soundtrack for dark landscapes.Many of the album’s tracks echo with Bat For Lashes’ clean voice and experimental sounds. The combination of voice and piano in Over The Bones is very interesting; the atmospheres created by Decembers and Hide and Seek are sensational. Fisherman Queen, however, is the song that stands out for the careful research both in sound and imagery that characterizes the artist.”
“She Owl is an ancestral song devoted to the thousand faces of nature, a wonderful piece of work between spirit and earth that confirms the visionary talent of an author we should pay more attention to… On these bases Jolanda introduces the use of certain instruments, which come from different latitudes of popular music, from ukulele to kalimba, to Gamelan elements arranged by Demian Endian, guitarist and collaborator… The music of Jolanda Moletta is a pantheistic cult indeed, from the processional gait of the title track, a tale of communion between nature’s consciousness and animal creatures, to the ancestral rhythmics of Over the bones…a route which is difficult and not-so-well-trodden, encountering the face of a debated nature by means of a sound, literary, philosophical and performatory tale between spirit and earth.”
“…All in all a wonderful album, so familiar and pleasant, yet mysterious and dark.”
“The evening finished off with Italian singer-songwriter Jolanda, also known as She Owl. She accompanied her rich voice on the Royal Room’s grand piano accompanied by Demian Endian on guitar and percussion. Her personal songs are filled with dreamlike imagery and deep emotional resonance, calling to mind other piano-women like Kate Bush and Tori Amos while sounding very little like anyone else. Demian’s backing in particular sets the music outside the listener’s expectations, providing textures and moods more than chords or notes. His percussive accents utilizing the drum kit on stage provided power and propulsion to the music, raising it above coffee-house confessionals. There were even moments of theater in the performance, when Demian took a heart pendant from Jolanda and held it to his own chest as he played. It was an emotionally satisfying end to a night of wide variety.