Irji's Meri Tadic has released the first single of her latest solo project, Meri. Palooka marks a rockier musical direction for the former Eluveitie musician and Celtic Frost guitarist Oliver Amberg, and is a taster of her forthcoming new album, due out in October 2021.
"I’ve wanted to incorporate brass sections and broaden the soundscapes of my music for a very long time," she explains. "It's simply added a brand new colour and works so beautifully with my string arrangements too. I absolutely love it!
"I’ve finally got around to trying it with the precious support of my wonderful collaborator and guitarist Oliver Amberg but I actually find it incredibly hard to name just a handful of bands which have inspired me. There are simply too many. It really could be anything from King Crimson to Femi Kuti, Led Zeppelin and King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard."
The project came about while Tadic was working on the ambitious follow-up to Irji's Cultura Cura. Although The Intrepid Child Of Venus has yet to be released, the musician is quick to point out Meri doesn't signal the end of his Slavic folk-inspired project.
"My work on the yet unfinished Irji album, , was interrupted by the sheer weight and complexity of its concept story," she explains. "My vision remains the same, but it seems I’m just not ready for it yet. I really want to finish it one day but it may be a few years yet. I am usually not willing to compromise when it comes to my music and besides that, I felt like I had other things to say and write about as well.
"This kind of collaboration is something I’ve been dreaming of throughout my entire life as a musician. It’s the best thing ever! So, it actually might take a while until Irji gets resurrected!"
Palooka, which translates as an athlete who lacks ability or competitive spirit, is available now on streaming platforms.