Song of the Day: Argo Vals – T ruum

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Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear.

Tallinn Music Week is a music industry conference and major showcase for new and emerging artists from all over the world, with an emphasis on Northern, Central, and Eastern Europe. The festival takes place in Tallinn, Estonia, and many of the venues are located in Tallinn Old Town, the best-preserved medieval city in Northern Europe with Gothic spires, turrets, and winding cobblestone streets that only enhanced the magic of the experience discovering new music. Over 250 bands from a diverse array of genres performed, including hip-hop, R&B, indie rock, electronic, metal, punk, folk, jazz, funk, soul, pop, world music, and choral. Over 800 music and creative industry delegates attended, and I was invited to share the KEXP story. I participated in a number of panels including discussions about the trend and impact of the gentrification of music, and a talk about music discovery and the role of human curation in the Artificial Intelligence age. It was a great exchange of ideas, and an excellent opportunity to represent KEXP to the European music industry. I’m excited to share the great new artists and bands I discovered at TMW.

Today’s pick is “T ruum” by Estonian guitarist and composer Argo Vals from his self-released 2015 album Nokturnbonus.

Argo Vals – T ruum (MP3)

I stumbled upon Argo Vals playing a small, almost hidden room at Mustpeade Maja, a multi-stage venue in the heart of the medieval old town of Tallinn, Estonia. The shimmering, dreamy guitar work pulled me in — gentle passages that floated in the air, followed by more propulsive riffs that drove the songs forward. Vals, a composer and guitarist from Estonia, played solo electric guitar, with loops, drum machines, and effects. He tastefully created layers and layers of sound, gracefully moving between post rock and minimal ambient electronic passages. Modern, yet with a classical element to the arrangement of the songs. “T ruum” is a bonus track to his most recent full-length album Nokturn, which in 2016 was nominated as the Best Alternative/Indie Album of the Year at the Estonian Music Awards, while Argo Vals was nominated as the Male Artist of the year. He’s currently working on a third full-length to be released in 2018.

Find out more by Argo Vals on his Facebook page, and check out a video below for the track “Uni,” from the album Nokturn.

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