Boomkat Product Review:
Romanian folklore and classical musics are the evocative subject of Jonny Nash’s latest charm, crafted in collaboration with native singer Ana Stamp and local performers - RIYL Breadwoman, Susanna, Cucina Povera
‘There Up, Behind the Moon’ is Nash’s first release since his 2020 hook-ups with Suzanne Kraft and Teguh Permana, during which time he’s been busy researching Romanian folklore and classical paradigms that feed into one of his most hauntingly melancholic recordings. With all due respect, as non-native Romanian speakers, the careful cadence and poise of Ana Stamp’s singing really calls to mind the otherworldly effect of Anna Homler’s Breadwoman as much as Helge Sten aka Deathprod’s sonic mise-en-scene for Susanna Wallumrød across the album’s etheric corridors and nocturnal feel.
Also accompanied by instrumentalists Dani Luca (cimbalom), Gabriel Bărbălău (double bass), and Lorenzo Buffa (double bass), Nash’s keys and Stamp’s self-possessed vox create an absorbing soundworld of shadow and flickering candlelight where they stage arrangements of traditional Romanian “star songs” and carols, such as ‘Bright Girl’ with its skin-stroking keys and Ana’s vocals finding strength in their fragility, while bringing a more adult contemporary feel a la Susanna with ’On The Mountain Realm’.
Together with a standout take on Oșoianu Sisters’ cover of traditional song ‘Clouds Passing By’, and two recitals of classical piano compositions by Sigismund Toduță that lend the album its title and exemplify a long-standing relationship between folk and classical styles, it’s an effortlessly lovely album and partner for reflective times.