Czech-born singer-songwriter Markéta Irglová will perform tonight at City Winery, one of Nashville’s newest music venues.
Irglová, who is best known for her work with Oscar-winning duo The Swell Season, is on tour to promote her sophomore solo album, Muna (Icelandic for “remember”), which was recorded in her new home city of Reykjavik, Iceland.
Unlike her debut album, Anar, Irglová said the new record required more time and energy due to its complexity, and although the songs weren’t written in Iceland, the album reflects experiences in her new home and of the musicians she recorded with.
“We originally planned for ten days in the studio to record, but we quickly realized that wasn’t enough time,” Irglová said in a recent phone interview with Sidelines. “We kept returning to the studio with more people and more musicians and kept adding to the songs in a very beautiful, organic way.”
The 11-track album intertwines Irglová’s experiences and beliefs with themes of nature and spirituality, with religious themes of Christianity, Buddhism and Islam flowing from one song to the next.
“If I didn’t incorporate my own beliefs and experiences into [the record], it wouldn’t be real for me,” Irglová said. “I had to be able to emotionally connect with the lyrics, especially with the movement of the songs.”
Irglová said the album’s completion now provides her with “a sense of connection,” and the connection allows her to form a bond with the music each time she performs.
“If I’m able to connect to it, the inspiration feeds itself,” she said. “It’s a cycle that moves itself forward, and since I invested my experiences into it (the album), everytime I sing the songs I can connect to a special place in my heart.”
The 26-year-old artist recently performed with the cast of Tony award-winning musical “Once,” a musical stage adaptation of the film of the same name, which starred Irglová and Glen Hansard, her partner at the time and other half of The Swell Season. She described watching a group of people preform her music as an “incredible feeling.”
“I will probably never completely get over the feeling of other people playing music that I wrote or cowrote,” Irglová said. “Someone hears the music on the other side of the world, puts the time and energy into learning it and now is singing it on Broadway.”
Irglová will spend the next few months touring before returning to Iceland and said more shows may be added depending on how the album is received. She noted that, like most of her life, her future is unpredictable, but knows that, with time, she will be guided in a new direction.
“My journey has been one of a lot of surprises and has been very much unplanned,” she added, “like a higher power has guided me forward and I always try to observe where it’s heading so I can try to anticipate the next few steps.”
For Irglová, she said she always learns a little more about herself with each life chapter, but knows there is always more to explore.
“This is a very magical way to live,” she said, laughing. “You get to know a little about yourself, and the rest is a mystery.”
Irglová will be playing City Winery tonight at 7:30 p.m. with opener Rosi Golan.
Tickets for Markéta Irglová’s tour, including her Nashville show, are available on her website.
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To contact Lifestyles editor John Connor Coulston, email email@example.com