Sometimes a CD wings its way through your post box that makes you stop and listen. Like – really stop and listen. Johanna Glaza’s debut EP, Silence is Kind – delightfully wrapped in layers of thick paper and lace – is one such beauty; a treasure box of gorgeous, piano-led baroque folk that invites endless listens. Possibly the best new artist this FFS editor has heard this year…
Hello, please introduce yourself and your music to the uninitiated
Hello folks, I’m watching the cloudy sky and waving to you.
Tell us a bit about your latest release
Silence Is Kind was born in the cold basement beneath the coffee shop on Holloway Road. Andrew and Ian encouraged me to do those recordings and helped me to put everything together. You see I was a little afraid then. I felt safer once realizing no-one in the entire world knows anything about what are we doing there, so there were no expectations, no rules. Wanting to keep this safe zone, I didn’t play the tracks to absolutely anyone until it was ready. It was a bit like venturing into the forest, with the map you can’t read, and you don’t want others to see how you are being eaten by a beast. Surprisingly we came back alive.
What was your best ever gig?
I was travelling by myself in the mountains in Montenegro. The storm had caught me and I had to find some shelter in a restaurant in the middle of nowhere. The electricity was gone for two hours, we sat there with candles and the owner was generously pouring everyone white wine. I felt very alien and awkward as it seamed I was the only outsider in the room, everybody else knew each other. They were all Russians from Siberia, coal oligarchs or something like that. I felt rescued when my elbow hit the piano standing right behind me. I don’t know if it was the wine or the storm but suddenly I started singing weird songs about Siberia, people eating snow etc. I think it was then I realised I wanted to do it all the time.
What’s the worst thing about being a musician?
Maybe the myth of staying forever young? It’s like you have to…What’s wrong with an 80 year-old babushka strumming a harp? But then, I haven’t seen many old bankers either. Have you? What I envy bankers though is that when at work they don’t have to open a Pandora’s box of feelings. They shut it, leave it at home. While a musician is always knee-deep in all this mud of feelings and emotions. You’ll probably write a song about your feelings or somebody else feelings, then possibly perform it with a feeling, trying your best to evoke other people’s feelings. Mercy!
What inspires you?
The other day in the forest I started imagining that the pine trees are alive, they are a choir of nymphs, and so I need to give them a voice and songs. Oh my god, now you‘ll think I’m a weirdo!
If you won a billion pounds what would you do with it?
Would it be enough to build a bridge between Liverpool and New York? I love bridges. Or do they sell mountains? I’d buy a mountain in The Himalayas and build a house on the top of it and just sit there and watch the snow.
Which of your songs is your favorite and why?
Probably the one I’m working on at the time. The new melody is always like a teaser to the promised land you never get to.
What are you plans for the future?
To be honest I was always more of a dreamer. Somehow ,if I plan things they tend to fall apart. The way I function is: I go and do something every day and then it rolls itself into a nice snowball of EP or something else. I’m rolling a new one now and hopefully you’ll hear it in the spring.
Finally, we’re always looking to expand our musical horizons. Do you have any recommendations of bands or artists we should be looking out for?
Sorry I’m terrible, by the time I hear about someone they already have three albums out. Normally I rely on guys like you to tell me what’s new. But did you hear Gorecki ‘s Symphony No. 3 ? I’m obsessed with it. And then you’ll probably wrinkle your nose but recently I’ve been listening to the songs by Ravel. I have this feeling that mixing classical and folk music will give birth to an amazing creature.
Silence is Kind is out now Inspired All Kinds Records