VARNA GL has just shared her exceptional, debut album, PILARNGAR, delving into the multifaceted experiences of Greenland's native people, who have grappled with the erosion of their cultural identity due to the imposition of Danish ideals and external colonial perspectives.
The album includes previously released singles "IDDORARPI" (city) and "QAARDULU" (raven), alongside seven new tracks. Throughout the project, there is a consistent dark, grungy and electronic energy, characterised by growling basslines and experimental elements like the trickle of water and bird-like calls. The production takes unexpected turns, occasionally embracing an upbeat vibe in tracks like "INUK", "QAQQAQ" and "CELEBRATION". The drum patterns pay homage to the traditional East Greenlandic drum dance passed down to VARNA GL by her elders. VARNA GL's vocals range from a menacing cry to a whispering serenade, experimenting with timbre in tracks like "QILAAT", "PILARNGAR", and "EQQANIUT". The production also draws influence from hip-hop and incorporates sci-fi and futuristic elements.
Talking about her homeland and ultimately, her inspiration behind creating this album she states, “A majority of Inuit in Greenland have temporarily lost connection to our ancient tradition as lived practice. A consequence of extreme "development" based on non-inuit cultural values and way of life has left people to prioritise different ways in order to survive. This system was never built for us, we are sucking the energy out of ourselves trying to constantly translate for someone else.
We need to look within as a people, listen to ourselves and trust that we can reconnect and revive in all aspects. We need to stand together, to set a new course that we believe in.
Personally I know, the drum is one way for connection and healing.
We are a resilient people, and I truly believe reviving our ancient ways in a fluid and engaged way has strong potential to attune us to our bodies, mind and each-other as a part of nature and spiritual beings. We can let go and rebuild and choose to consciously nourish the practices and energy that moves us forward”