Marketa Irglova, Rosi Golan | Maurer Hall, Old Town School of Folk Music | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Marketa Irglova

Marketa Irglova

Hordur Sveinsson

When: Thu., Oct. 16, 8 p.m. 2014
Price: $25, $23 members
Marketa Irglová is best known as Glenn Hansard’s cowriter on “Falling Slowly,” a fey distillation of heartfelt folk that won an Oscar for Best Original Song in 2007. On her own, Irglová is still fey and heartfelt but substantially less cloying. Her most recent album, last month’s Muna (Anti-), replaces Hansard’s rootsy earnestness with a refreshingly alienating eclecticism. “Point of Creation” opens with church chiming and a plainsong chorus; “Remember Who You Are” suggests a less jazzy Joni Mitchell; “Fortune Teller” nods to eastern European Roma rhythms, and Irglová’s voice lifts into a keening south Asian chant halfway through. Tracks such as “Without a Map” and “Time Immemorial” fit more neatly into a folk paradigm, though the careful arrangements and Irglová’s perfect tone seem like a better fit for a concert hall with assigned seats than for a coffee shop. That’s not a bad thing—while a penchant for rapturousness at arm’s length probably won’t put Irglová on the charts again, the chillier surface has its own pleasures, remote and crystalline. And on “Seasons Change” she emotes more conventionally, hinting that another Oscar (or some equivalent mainstream success) isn’t out of the question. —Noah Berlatsky
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