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ITZIAR

Prog Folk • Spain


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Itziar biography
ITZIAR are a 6-member folk-prog band named after Itziar Egileor, a Basque female singer with a beautiful, crystalline voice reminiscent of Sandy Denny's. The band's only album displays the sensitive songwriting of Dutch folk band NIGHTWATCH and are quite similar in style and atmosphere to both HAIZEA and ITOIZ; in fact, if you switch the latter band's male vocalist for a female, you'll get an idea of what ITZIAR sound like. All lyrics are sung in Basque.

Thanks to Lost Vinyl, a rare Spanish label specializing in re-releasing old forgotten treasures, we can now sample their eponymous album, originally released by Elkar in 1979. It is a very fragile and intimate piece of folk prog that essentially highlights Itziar's delicate voice; it features lots of acoustic guitar (surprisingly no Flamenco elements whatsoever), solid bass lines and powerful drumming, spacey flute, a few subtle touches of Mellotron, some slide guitar as well as mad, fuzzy guitar licks and early 70's British-style jazzy sax parts. An altogether very delicate and laid-back folk-psych album.

Particularly recommended to fans of TREES, FAIRPORT CONVENTION, HAIZEA, EMTIDI and ITOIZ; Egileor's voice will also ring true with fans of Maddy Prior and Sandy Denny.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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ITZIAR discography


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3.54 | 10 ratings
Itziar
1979

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ITZIAR Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Itziar by ITZIAR album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.54 | 10 ratings

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Itziar
Itziar Prog Folk

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

4 stars 4.5 stars really!!!

Sole album from yet another Basque progressive folk group, this one being named after their female lead singer. This sextet presented a duo of guitarist, a flutist and singer Itziar Egileor and managed to sound like The Trees mixed with some of Tull's folkier elements, but a good dose of jazz influences as well. The album came in a superb pastoral and nocturnal gatefold artwork, and on the inside a no-less pastoral drawing of the band and maybe a wink to Genesis' W&W album and was released on the Xoxoa label, and reissued on the inevitable Elkar label in the mid-90's.

Made of nine relatively short but intimate tracks (all under 6 minutes) that are clearly modern folk (allowing itself to search freedom in jazz), where Itziar stay mainly in acoustic mode (but not hesitating to foray in electric realm), with a superb flute (bring in a slight symphonic touch as well), female vocals (often doubled by the bassist), their sole album is a small gem of the Basque culture. If Itziar sound very Fairport-ey (as in English-type of Folk rock, there is the odd Latin influence percolating through the wax of the record: the odd slight Fado, Tarantella and even a touch of Iberian (note to E.T.A., I said Iberian, not Spanish ;-) and of course their Basque touch. As the group starts out with their two longest tracks, they announce the full spectrum of their adventures. Most of the other tracks are more singled-focused (either bordering on jazz, psych rock, semi-medieval (the odd harpsichord bit) or even almost hard rock, while remaining true to their gentle (but not corny or cheesy) folk. Truly a great album to get laid by, and I doubt your girlfriend would say otherwise. There is even a not-too-painful accordion in one track. Too short a record, though!!

One of the things I would've done is to place the first two (longer) tracks at the end of the album or at least one on each side of the vinyl. Because here, they seem to spend all of their trump cards a bit too early, but luckily their hand is close to a full house or a royal flush. One of the best Basque gems around with really only Haizea's second or Itoiz

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 Itziar by ITZIAR album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.54 | 10 ratings

BUY
Itziar
Itziar Prog Folk

Review by Heptade
Prog Reviewer

3 stars A nice one-off entry in the genre of Basque folk rock. Itziar's music resembes the first Haizea album in that it is more folk rock than prog folk of the sort that Itoiz delved into. The album, which does have a bass/ drums rhythm section, is dominated by chiming guitars, usually nylon string, with touches of electric guitar (even some solos), flute, sax and some background synth. The female lead vocalist mixes traditional singing with some distinct Joni Mitchell influence at times- very pleasant. As on pretty well all Iberian music I've heard, the group vocals as a whole are excellent. Sonically, the Basque folk element is strong, of course, but there is also a resemblance to Beau Dommage's jazzy folk-rock style in Quebec during the same era. If you like Iberian prog folk/folk rock, this album is guaranteed to please.

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