Saturday 16 April 2011


The album Seesamseesam by Imandra Lake was given to me in Estonia. I didn’t get it at first.

I do now, and it’s a record of greatness.

At first I found the way the vocals relate to the instruments hard to get a handle on as they seemed to mask what was going on. Then I realised this was essential to the point – it’s about a sense of texture overall.

Lake Imandra itself is in Russia's north, inside the arctic circle. But Imandra Lake are an offshoot of Estonian band Pia Fraus. I’m lacking context, but I’m pretty sure that Pia Fraus are legendary, so Imandra Lake have to be a big deal. I’m equally lacking with the language – Seesamseesam is entirely in Estonian and there's no reason why it should be in English anyway.

Seesamseesam is a folk-slanted shoegazing, very psychedelic with hints of late Slowdive – that sense of otherness – but imbued instead with a lilt to the songwriting style that draws from something unfamiliar, perhaps a folk music. The vocal phrasing is unusual – syllables can follow each other rapidly, then can come out very deliberately. Acoustic instruments bring a very intimate, emotive feel. No more needs to said – it speaks for itself.

Find Imandra Lake here: Imandra Lake


  1. They are one of my local favs, indeed a great atmosphere built on the album. If you liked Imandra, you might like Tallinn's Picnic, too bad they disbanded.

  2. Picnic is alive and well, they will release their second album in May, Under Seksound (Est) and Shelflife (USA)