It has been a few years since I came across Warren Russell and his Quicksilver Night project, where he brings in other musicians to help him realise his dreams, but I must admit I never thought I would hear a collection of music as complete as this. This is a five-song EP, with each song credited as having a guest musician such as Marco Iacobini, Farzad Golpayegani or Andrew N Project (who is on three), but aside from the music and the songs themselves the most important guest is Russian singer Dikajee. Warren and Dikajee announced their collaboration in December 2021, but the Russian invasion had a major impact on their plans, and it took until September this year for this to be released. Warren provided the music, they collaborated on the lyrics, and met in the middle where Dikajee’s wonderful vocals met the arrangements and combined to create something quite special indeed.
At times progressive, at others more symphonic, musically this is direct and in your face with plenty of layers and some wonderful shredding metallic guitar solos. Against this we have a singer who is obviously influenced by the likes of Björk and Kate Bush, who has been classically trained and enjoys showing off her talents in a similar fashion to Floor Jansen. There are times when the music moves in a Russian folk fashion, but the guitars are never far away. The bass is incredibly important and complex, often linked in with the keyboards in a quite Uriah Heep manner, but one of the things which makes this such an interesting EP is that one never knows quite where it is going to go, so keyboards or acoustic guitars may, or may not, have important parts to play. Dikajee can be playful in her style, one can imagine her smiling when recording some of the lines, or even dancing in the studio, but at others she is incredibly dramatic and in your face. The mix of different cultures and styles come together well on this EP, and I hope we get a full album in the near future.
About the video: “I wanted the visuals to remain still, whilst the music is so dynamic. The video is about how the physical elements of a human’s life are temporary and many are often taboo (birth, milking, death and turning to ashes, etc.) I think it echoes the subject matter of the EP, not just on ‘Latibulate’ but also ‘For You’ (‘The sky is blue, the sky is doomed but today it shines for you’) and ‘Ptichka’ (‘Nothing meets eternity, fly, little bird, fly’) In my lyrics for that EP I wanted to look at mortality as a reminder of how brief one’s presence in this world is and that there’s no reason not to spend this time in peace.” – Dikajee 2023
It’s been a long and convoluted process but it’s finally here! Featuring sublimely evocative vocals from the ever-enchanting Dikajee, Quicksilver Night’s “Ptichka” EP is nearly thirty minutes in length across five captivating songs of progressive-influenced rock music with operatic and madrigal nuances set on fire by pyrotechnic solo contributions from special guest guitarists. “Ptichka” was first announced in December of 2021 as a collaborative single nearly eight minutes in length that we intended to initially release digital-only and later include on Quicksilver Night’s next full-length album but, in the manner of all best-laid plans, it didn’t quite pan out that way. The invasion of Ukraine by Russian-led forces in February 2022 and the ensuing sociopolitical and economic upheavals threw a huge figurative spanner into the “Ptichka” works. We eventually got things back on track and as we did the song “Ptichka” itself became the title track of what ultimately evolved into a discrete five-song EP.
1. “Monochrome Memories” featuring Marco Iacobini 3:31 2. “Ptichka” featuring Andrew N Project 7:51 3. “Nihil Tactum” featuring Andrew N Project 4:15 4. “For You” featuring Farzad Golpayegani 6:51 5. “Latibulate” featuring Andrew N Project 4:39
“Ptichka” Releases 9/9, Preorder Now!
Pre-order the physical CD or digital album at the following locations:
About Quicksilver Night is guitarist/composer Warren Russell and a small but widening circle of musical collaborators around the world. The music of Quicksilver Night is probably best described as “distilled progressive rock” because it often incorporates elements of progressive rock such as exotic modes and composite meters but it generally eschews extended song structures in favor of a more concise songwriting style than is usually associated with the genre. Visit https://quicksilvernight.com/
Dikajeelinks her connection with nature back to her childhood, having grown up near Lake Ladoga in northwest Russia. Dikajee’s compositions draw inspiration from the progressive music of Kate Bush, Nightwish, and Björk. Her pieces never stand still, driven forward by her own visions and the talent of her fellow musicians. Visit https://dikajee.bandcamp.com/
This four-track EP is my first experience of Quicksilver Night, a project run by guitarist Warren Russell who brings in other musicians as he needs them, although he provides a great many himself. This 3-song release features the wonderful Meagan Finning on vocals, plus Jason Cale on lead guitar plus some acoustic and backing vocals, and is currently available with an additional song when downloaded, the 2016 single “Exeunt” which features Meagan again, but with Milt Gore on lead guitar. The EP starts with the title song and harmony guitars, but while they are driven along by the drums, Meagan comes in over the top with some beautiful double-tracked vocals. It soon becomes apparent that the songs are designed around her wonderful voice, as he provides some incredible soprano high vocals over the top of more controlled symphonic rock vocals – in many ways she reminds me of Floor Jansen. “October Skies” is more acoustic-based, while Meagan again reaches for the high notes, and the use of synthesized fiddles gives this a very Horslips feel as the electric guitars also make their presence felt.
There is again a lot of space within the arrangements, with Meagan always very much front and center. “Homecoming” is more complex, with intricate musical threads, organ, multiple vocal lines, plenty of piano and drums, and feels much more controlled and concise. The final track, “Exeunt”, feels slightly different to the others with more guitars, but given it was recorded some years ago perhaps that isn’t surprising. Meagan’s vocals are still at the forefront of everything which is going on, and it is they that make this EP such a delight. Pop over to Bandcamp and give them a listen as this is well worth hearing and is a great introduction to the work of Warren Russell.
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