Settima Tacca on “Wondrous Feelings of Ages Long Gone” and Piecing Things Together | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Settima Tacca on “Wondrous Feelings of Ages Long Gone” and Piecing Things Together

A River Runs Through It

Aug 16, 2021 Web Exclusive
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Apollinariya Kaspars has just self-released Wondrous Feelings of Ages Long Gone, her first album as Settima Tacca, but her initial introduction to performing music was less than wondrous. “My mother made me attend piano classes when I was around nine years old. I found the lessons quite excruciating, so I hid in the closet from my teacher,” Kaspars rembers. Perhaps somewhat ironically, Kaspars’ voice and piano are the beating heart of Wondrous Feelings. Ages old synthesizers add a melancholy emotional depth that no machine should be capable of. “My favorite vintage synths are a Korg Polysix and a Roland Juno-60. I absolutely love them,” Kaspars explains. “They are beautiful inside and out with their own particular characters.”

Kaspars was born and raised in Moscow and though Wondrous Feelings is performed solely in English, she holds dear a distinctly Russian identity to how she relates to music. When asked in detail about her process or the meaning of particular songs, Kaspars often defers to her own uncertainty about how her music develops. “I believe there is a hidden underground river that carries Russian cultural identity. When I write songs in Russian I try to channel things that the river says. Maybe I will have more understanding of this process someday,” Kaspars says. She also feels a deep connection to the live performances of Russian musician Vera Sazhina. “She’s definitely my biggest influence in some metaphysical way. I feel she connects to some transcendent realms that I don’t dare channel in my music yet.”

When relating to Western artists, Kaspars finds it easier to point to specifics about what has influenced her. Though her own music has a much more finished quality to it, Kaspars credits Daniel Johnston for some of her approach. “Listening to his music helped me not be ashamed of my own naïveté, drama, and romanticism,” she says. She also credits Canadian songwriter Patrick Watson for “tenderness in the choice of words” and the French band Air for her “love of mild psychedelia.” But when it came to trying to broaden her audience globally, the unsigned Kaspars searched for outlets that had covered artists that she finds her current album most similar to. “A good friend of mine suggested I search for sites that had written about Gia Margaret and Sofie and that’s how I came across Under the Radar,” Kaspars explains.

Though Wondrous Feelings is a fully formed introduction to Kaspars’ music, it only scratches the surface of what she has in the works. September brings the planned release of an album with her ex-partner under the band name Astana. “Despite bitter feelings, we managed to finish the record and even record new music,” she says. Kaspars also has two nearly finished Settima Tacca albums ready as well. “One of them has a much more acoustic sound with fewer synths. I tried to fuse nostalgia for my teenage years with a shamanistic approach in a rather careful manner,” she says. Though more of the majestic and spectral sounds of Wondrous Feelings would be welcome, Kaspars seems more inclined to go where the river flows.

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