By Cynthia Gross
With her recent single, “Foliage,” Romanian-born and Finland-based jazz artist Elena Mîndru provides yet another example of why she is a rare find and impressive talent who continues to win over audiences. The song, which explores resilience in the midst of crisis and society’s responsibility to the environment, is spellbinding, majestic, and timeless.
“Foliage” is the third single from Mîndru’s latest album, Hope. Previously, Alchemical Records covered “Run Away,” the album’s second single. “Foliage” is nearly eight minutes long, and immediately, listeners realize every second is thoughtful and intentional. Mîndru’s expressive, classically trained vocals are supported by her remarkable band: virtuoso Polish violinist Adam Bałdych, and Finnish musicians Tuomas J. Turunen on piano, Oskari Siirtola on double bass, and Anssi Tirkkonen on drums. The album was recorded and mixed by Joonas Saikkonen and mastered by Jarno Alho.
The theme of hope feels especially relevant and meaningful. Lyrics, including “accepting who we are, what we have, where we are right now” and “get out of your bubble,” remind individuals of their responsibility to themselves and to each other. Essentially, “Foliage” is about collective action toward the future we want to see.
“Most of the music on this album was conceived during the pandemic,” explains Mîndru. “We made music and composed to make it easier for us to go through the hard restrictions we had to endure. A way to hope that these times will end as soon as possible, bringing hope for a better future for humanity.”
Fittingly, the environment is a constant throughout “Foliage.” “Whispering trees,” “golden light,” and “burbling streams” personify nature, presenting it as a living organism that must be cared for in order to flourish.
“Even though sometimes the lyrics seem to illustrate a rather gloomy and threatening reality, they also speak of the hope that these troubled times bring people together and make them more aware that we must do something to protect this world, the only one we have,” Mîndru added.
Elena Mîndru is artist in residence at Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, France and a recent Montreux Jazz Voice Competition awardee. She is also a doctoral student within the Sibelius Academy’s jazz department in Helsinki, where her research explores the crossover between acoustic, physiology, and jazz.
Mîndru’s album, Hope, is an unmistakable gift from the universe – one that would not otherwise be without the trying season the world continues to navigate. The collection serves as a powerful example of pain’s ability to create things of great beauty.
Stay tuned for the vinyl version of Hope, which releases on October 29.
This track has been added to our Alchemical Weekly YouTube Playlist.
Maryland-based singer-songwriter Cynthia Gross seeks to inspire an awakening to all we are and all we can become. With a passion for language in all of its forms and more than a decade of experience as a professional ghostwriter, she is a light seeker who understands the power of each individual’s voice to create positive, meaningful change.
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