The Bone of My Bones is the first solo album from Lord Vicar guitarist Kimi Kärki — whose impressive resume also includes current tenure in Uhrijuhla, E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr, Orne and a past playing under the moniker Peter Vicar in Finnish trad doom forebears Reverend Bizarre — and it is out now on Svart Records in gatefold LP and CD. It is an album that lives up to its title. Acoustic, minimal in its arrangements despite flourish of organ alongside Kärki‘s guitar and a host of guest vocalists, it proves indeed to be a deeply personal, deeply internal offering, comprising seven songs and 36 minutes of contemplative searching, a process that seems to be discovering the musical atmosphere even as it constructs it. That’s not to say songs like “My Name is Free,” “Red Rooster” and “Archipelago” are lacking in structure or progression, just that it becomes clear over the course of The Bone of My Bones that Kärki is building his sound from the ground up, and this is the beginning of that process.
“Young Goodman Brown” touches some on the melody of Led Zeppelin‘s “No Quarter,” and there are other flourishes of ’70s era progressive and psychedelic folk to be found throughout, but the richness of The Bone of My Bones comes from the humanity of the effort more than any particular lushness of sound, though a bit of swirl emerges on the nine-minute closer “Taxiarch” with wisps of electric leads curling around a steady acoustic line. As a vocalist, Kärki seems most comfortable in a semi-spoken lower register, but he pushes himself to expand beyond it right from the start in opener “I am Aries,” and the additional contributions of Mat McNerney (of Svart labelmates Hexvessel), Anna-Elena Pääkkölä and Pirita Känkänen enrich the song’s ambience, bringing it somewhat out of Kärki‘s own experience and into a place where the listener can engage with it on another level. The launch of the album is just one of the high points, as Kärki elicits a melancholy sense of meditation without getting lost in neo-folk pretense or giving up songwriting for the experiment. True to its Edward Coley Burne-Jones cover art, The Tree of Forgiveness (1882), it has a classical feel.
And though the prevailing sense is that Kärki is laying the groundwork with The Bone of My Bones to, say, return to the form later and flesh it out, having that impression does nothing to diminish the appeal of his solo debut. Please find The Bone of My Bones on the player below and enjoy:
Kimi Kärki, The Bone of My Bones
Kimi Kärki‘s The Bone of My Bones was released Dec. 5 through Svart on CD and LP. More info at the links.
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