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by Cucina Povera

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SingBlueSilver thumbnail
SingBlueSilver Cucina Povera's music on this album is entrancing and immersive in its carefully considered simplicity.
blanco73431 thumbnail
blanco73431 I recently saw Cucina Povera supporting Poppy Ackroyd in Edinburgh and was spellbound by the beautiful sounds she was creating. So glad to found her album and have it in my collection. Favorite track: Kuparirumpu.
cordltx thumbnail
cordltx such a beautiful album, complex and generous. it helps me to see the winter in its wonder
abdonoval thumbnail
abdonoval An early 2018 favourite - simple, yet effective and utterly beautiful. Favorite track: Demetra.
George Wallace
George Wallace thumbnail
George Wallace Sounds like Iceland – spaces expanding into spaces, wind strewn and cinder blown – but it's Finno-Glaswegian. Layered voice, field recordings, subtilectronica, and a relationship to language somewhere between Cocteau Twins and Sigur Ros: a mystic sophistic blend.
Michael Mueller
Michael Mueller thumbnail
Michael Mueller Such impressive, resonant use of voice and word. Repeated phrases, multi-layered vocals that highlight nuances of inflection. Songs that build in unexpected ways, into unexpected shapes. Ghostly textural features.

For such understated music, this rich, provocative, challenging music. It defies easy classification or an easy listen. But that's largely its appeal, i think. It gets under your skin, and pulls you into its shadowy, soulful world. Favorite track: Avainsana.
  • Streaming + Download

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  • Cassette
    Cassette + Digital Album

    Limited to 50 copies, split release with Domestic Exile. Remade artwork by Roos Dijkhuizen

    Includes unlimited streaming of Hilja via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

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  • LP * Second Press*
    Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Standard 3mm Sleeve, limited to 300

    Includes unlimited streaming of Hilja via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

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Demetra 05:21
Kuparirumpu 04:57
Avainsana 06:41
Elektra 05:32
Kehoitus 04:36
Huhuilu 04:09
Totean 07:04


An ethereal, unresolved presence fading into the stereo field, Hilja breathes into life with a haunted synth line and self-sampling vocal hook that instantly creates an enchanted space. Hilja is the debut album by Glasgow-based musician Maria Rossi aka Cucina Povera. Named after a style of southern Italian traditional cooking associated with precarity and making-do, a philosophy of simplicity and stoicism that applies perfectly to the spare but beautiful music Rossi experiments with. Hilja’s marriage of minimal synth, field recordings and the hymnal dexterity of Rossi’s vocal performances creates a new language, sometimes literally, to be spoken in some mythological Fourth World we’ve yet to create.

Originally from Finland, Rossi brings an acute sense of space, surroundings, and practicality to her working practice, with each composition often relying on a limited sound palette to create deeply affecting messages which transcend language. Cucina Povera’s power is to communicate purely, often down to the solo-choir nature of Rossi’s multi-layered voice, an achingly beautiful instrument which has seems to have an innate spirituality in its grain. The tension between the means and the end is at the heart of Cucina Povera, the invocation of a kind of secular spirituality at times using nothing but Rossi’s voice. Indeed there’s almost a Dogme-like purity to the arrangements: Elektra is a soothing song based around the lapping waves of Rossi’s wordless backing vocals and a simple field recording of stones knocked together. Kehoitus is completely a cappella, a haunted fairytale told in glossolalia, evoking a quasi-religious experience with very little.

For music often minimal and simple there’s a boldness that belies Hilja’s status as a debut. Rossi allows each word, each sound and rhythm to exist in its own space, finding its own relationship with its surroundings. Mesikämmenen Veisu is perhaps the most ecclesiastical sounding composition here; burbling water trickles below a virtuoso vocal, with incredible arrangements in several registers undulating above. A meditation to relieve hunger and restriction, it’s a perfect summing up of Hilja, a music ambient but completely earthed, finding enchantment in what you have to hand, the realism of magic, the magic of realism.


released January 26, 2018


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Cucina Povera Helsinki, Finland

Mind aloft in the imaginary

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