Euthymia is a feeling of stability and balance. In philosophy, it also refers to a sense of authenticity and integrity.
The title of Pieces of Juno’s latest album is fitting. It is the final installment of the series that included Kalopsia (the delusion of things being more beautiful than they are), Tacenda (things that are best left unsaid) and Metanoia (a fundamental change of mind). Euthymia completes the cycle with a sense of presence in the flow of things.
There are traces of jazz and pop in the mix, but Euthymia is an experimental album. Juno, herself, refers to the style as Northern Noir; and the sounds certainly move like the branches of birch trees in the breeze, waving in patterns that are entrancing and centering.
“Waking Divine” winds with reverb in the way that Harold Budd’s keyboards used to, while strings resonate like wind chimes. Juno’s voice drifts with the lightness of vapour between them. It fits as a companion piece to “I/O,” which has the subtle touch of the lightest kiss on the back of your neck. You feel this material through the teasing of your cilia before it is processed in your mind.
“Needing” starts with a touch of Tom Waits, but evolves quickly into classic Pieces of Juno. “Let things flow, let it go,” she sings, and the shuffling, rhythmic loop of life continues to spin. The philosophical element of Juno’s work provides coherence, but it also leads to beautiful results.
The entreaty to “Wake Me Up” comes on one the most structured of these songs. It’s a simple request, but loaded with epic consequences.
Open your third eye and see; open your ears and feel.
(Photo: Cecilia Riis Kjeldsen)