VIDEO PREMEIRE: Orouni - Kalimbalism (Instrumental)

Kelly Kirwan

Orouni had an itch for travel. It was a dizzying sense of wanderlust that propelled him across countries and continents for twelve months on the road, an ambling artist and rolling stone. Returning to Paris, Orouni had amassed an eclectic orchestra of instruments: cavaquinho, charango, balafon, and, of course, kalimbas, which inspired and served as the guiding heartbeat for his single "Kalimbalism."

Nicknamed the "thumb piano," the kalimba has a distinctive xylophone-ting. It's a lamellophone in its own right, comprised of a wooden base and thin plates for finger plucking and plucky beats. "Kalimbalism" has an upbeat, inviting melody, accompanied by a shimmying, sort of soft-maraca percussion and the occasional sweet, female croon. This instrumental version is plush and inviting, tapering off unexpectedly roughly three-quarters of the way in. There’s a pause, and then a twinkling resurgence—an acoustic, metallic arrangement of twangs, as if it were a moment of retrospection after a sensory-overload brought on by sightseeing.

The accompanying video is essentially a tour of Europe’s famed artistic mecca, Paris. It’s shot in a series of quirky stop-motion frames, highlighting pieces of architecture and cityscapes that are transplants of other cultures, now meshed into the modern identity of Paris—a crossroads of expression. We see elements of Russia, India, and China, an intersection of East and West whose slides reflect the nature of Orouni’s song and overarching album, Grand Tour. It’s a musical collage as much as it is a compilation, a global tapestry of indie-folk, whose varied composition leaves us, rooted listeners, with the feeling that we two have escaped our everyday.