Close your eyes. Wait. No. Don’t close them. Just stop thinking about things that aren’t this article and do what I say. Imagine an accordion. Y’know, the squeezey boxy thing. You know them, the accordions. The busker outside Tesco Express always has one. Yeah, now you remember. You’ve heard people do dodgy covers of When The Saints Go Marching In, and Waltzing Matilda (if you’re lucky), but what do you think a neo-classical work of outstanding beauty would sound like if it had been played only on an accordion. Imagine it.
Now stop. Stream THIS song here. Sit back. More amazing than you coulda possibly imagined, huh, punk? Well Bosnian accordion connoisseur Mario Batkovic makes some of the most amazing, fresh and beautiful music you’ve ever heard. His accordion sounds like a full band, with low bass notes and high melody notes coming together as one to make for a smorgasbord of absolute beauty. Normally, I don’t care much for technicalities in music; it doesn’t matter how difficult something is to play, it either sounds great or it doesn’t. But this. Imagine producing a piece of music like Quatere with just one instrument, and THAT instrument at that. It doesn’t bare thinking about.
Now Quatere is a stirring masterclass, but you’ve heard its 6 minutes of harrowing, whimsical beauty and you want more, right? Right. I know I do. So, you’ll be glad to know that Batkovic has announced a new album Eponymous is out next March, and we really can’t wait. You’re welcome.
Words by Cal Cashin