Album Review of
Zimnice (Chills)

Written by Joe Ross
March 12, 2022 - 10:44am EST
Review Rating Star Review Rating Star Review Rating Star Review Rating Star

Founded in 1990, Indies Records is a unique Czech Republic label that has released over 200 titles ranging from alternative to more folk-oriented music. Their motto is straight-forward - “we only release music that we like.” Another world music album that could certainly use some storylines or lyrics for its eleven songs, Zimnice (Chills) is the solo project by singer Kateřina Göttlichová who also plays guitar and nyckelharpa. The versatile musician is joined by Jan Balcar (double bass, guitar) and David Göttlich (keyboards).  Although not credited in the liner notes, Petr Tický may have recorded some bass and trombone parts for the project.

Kateřina Göttlichová’s effervescent world music stays within boundaries of traditional folk and ethnic idioms, but liner notes indicate that the multiple winner of the Anděl Award composed the music and lyrics, while incorporating elements of Slavik folk song lyrics and electronics into the enchanting and sensitive arrangements.

Perhaps Kateřina ‘s website could further explain the songs’ themes and stories because they certainly have the potential to attract a legion of international fans.  Göttlichová’s sonic kaleidoscope grows on you, and haunting balladic songs like “Slunéčko” (Ladybug) and “Družička” (Bridesmaid) evolve with plenty of emotion and poignancy.  With short, succinct titles, other songs refer to things like sign (Cedulička), eyes (Oči), curse (Kletba), love in the river (Láska v řece), farewell (Loučení) and grass (Tráva).

Kateřina Göttlichová once explained, “Folk song lyrics have been my great passion for a long time. They hide stories and models similar across cultures and centuries. It serves as an instruction, warning, therapy, and support. I read anthologies from the nineteenth century by František Sušil and Karel Jaromír Erben and looked in the lyrics for what will resonate with me the most or inspire me to turn it into songs.”

You’d also enjoy hearing Kateřina Göttlichová’s music presented live. At concerts, she performs with Jan Balcar (guitar, loops, strangeness), Petr Tichý (double bass, trombone) and Vladimír Pavlíček (violin). Their alluring Czech Republic folk-pop certainly will send Zimnice (Chills) up your spine.   Göttlichová also performs an eclectic repertoire with the band, BraAgas, which has appeared on various world music charts and pulls inspiration from the genres of Romani, Balkan and Hispanic music. (Joe Ross, Roots Music Report)