Mizgin: Lorin

Denied education, she taught herself. Denied a voice, she just sang louder. Mizgin, born in the Kurdish heartland of eastern Turkey, contracted polio at two and spent her early years at home, unable to go to school. Initially without crutches, she crawled; often alone, she listened to music and taught herself to play her brother’s saz. In her teens, against her parents’ wishes, she went to live with her sister in Istanbul, where she learned to read and write … More Mizgin: Lorin

Kata: Tívils døtur

The voices of the women’s quintet are celestial and the album was recorded in a church dating from 1250, but the words embedded in Kata’s enchanting harmonies tell mostly cautionary tales. Tívils døtur (Tivil’s Daughters) features mythical heroes and folk figures, trolls, witches, giants, slayers and, always in the middle, vulnerable women—all figures in traditional songs from the Faroe Islands. Kata performs a cappella save for light drum and … More Kata: Tívils døtur

Zenobia: Blot en Ild

Like campers kindling a fire with logs, twigs and dry leaves, the women of Zenobia stoke their music with every-life elements—joy and folly, love and sorrow, pride and prejudice. For their fourth album, Louise Støjberg (lead vocals), Mette Kathrine Jensen Stærk (accordion) and Charlotte Støjberg (piano), have composed 16 melodies in the Danish folk tradition, with the lion’s share of new lyrics by Martin Rauff-Nielsen, in addition to some classic … More Zenobia: Blot en Ild

Helene Blum: Dråber af tid

The great Jim Croce could only dream of capturing Time in a Bottle, but on her fifth solo album the Danish folksinger and songwriter Helene Blum succeeds in making the clock stand still. Each song on Dråber af tid (Droplets of Time) revolves around a defining moment—a marriage proposal, a lullaby, a separation, a war’s end—the narrative unit around which life stories are built. The album offers stunning music, evocative imagery and, above all, Blum’s spellbinding voice—bright and poignant, magically fusing opera house … More Helene Blum: Dråber af tid