"… It fully applied however to the young duo of vocalist Veronika Harcsa and guitarist Bálint Gyémánt. The duo has already made a name and has been signed by the German Traumton label and the Artribute agency. It had a showcase at this year's European Jazz Meeting at the JazzAhead conference in Bremen.
Harcsa is an amazingly versatile musician, a brilliant vocalist and gifted entertainer in the best sense. Her facial, vocal, gestural and musical expressions were mutually reinforcing. With her clear and supple voice she not only can get almost everywhere. She captures 'it' in an open smile and inviting gesture. It all happens in an almost effortless flow and a mildly stylized way. She has found her very own thing and performed it on a high level with great impact. What she was doing defies categorization and makes comparisons superfluous. Her performance not only had great variation but also unfolding, focusing, draught and pointedness, ending up in a great Indian flavored piece. Sometimes less vocal fireworks would make the soul of song even more present. Guitarist Bálint Gyémánt entered fully into the interior of the music interlocking intensely with Harcsa. What the duo is doing has its pop-sensitivities but these emerge from precious substance."
allaboutjazz.com, Henning Bolte, 6.10.2015
With two albums thus far (Lifelover und Tell Her), Veronika Harcsa and Bálint Gyémánt have fascinated press and audiences as a duo since 2014. “Harcsa is an amazingly versatile musician, a brilliant vocalist and gifted entertainer in the best sense,” states allaboutjazz.com, and public radio MDR adjudges: “Harcsa’s voice oscillates in many different colors. […] At times she sounds like the jazzy sister of Alanis Morissette and in the next moment she turns into a spherical siren.”
On Shapeshifter, Harcsa and Gyémánt are starting a new chapter of their collaboration. Playing as a quartet for the first time, with Nicolas Thys on bass and drummer Antoine Pierre, the atmospheric original compositions have more foundation now. Rhythmic finesse, multifarious harmonies and airy, even in dynamically denser parts smartly balanced arrangements develop captivating qualities. “We like the duality between catchy melodies and conceptual soundscapes,“ Veronika Harcsa explains, “our songs have verses, bridges and refrains like a pop song, but the melodies and harmonies are rooted in jazz aesthetics and modern music.” A good example of this balance between direct emotionality and profound ideas is the Nights-Trilogy, with its wide musical arches “describing the different faces of a city at night from lonely, empty streets to vibrant night life.“ ... read more
file under: jazz
release February 3, 2017
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When the first duo album of Veronika Harcsa and Bálint Gyémánt was released in 2014 it sparked enthusiastic reactions among press and audience. The vast reduction to vocals and guitar lets the songs on Lifelover sound extraordinarily transparent, direct and intimate, at the same time the duo fascinatingly exhibits a stylistic range from jazz to artful pop facets. But most captivating of all, is Harcsa’s exceptionally variable voice. When she lightly skips through octaves, varies tempos or cuts capers scatting, she unites outstanding talent and juvenile wit. „Harcsa is an amazingly versatile musician, a brilliant vocalist and gifted entertainer in the best sense. She has found her very own thing and performed it on a high level with great impact.” (allaboutjazz.com)
The songs of the new album Tell Her present a refinement of expression through compositional sophistication and clever details. The courageous expansion of dynamics is especially apparent. Veronika Harcsa and Bálint Gyémánt fathom the substantial depth that is inherent in quiet passages and long notes. Therein Harcsa’s involvement with other projects, which are set in the domain of Classical music, is also reflected. The song Give Time for example, is inspired by J.S. Bach’s cello suites. At the same time producer Jeremy Friedman contributed ideas that carefully broaden the spectrum of sounds. ... reade more
"The new album is innovative and neoclassical at the same time, uplifting and astonishing, the most serious work the singer-songwriter produced so far. She proved again, that she is willing to leave the beaten path for the sake of playing and experimenting. As she mentions in her lyrics, she is "moving anticlockwise", which makes her one of the most versatile and exciting performers of our time."
"I've heard many voice and guitar duos, but non of them has such a full-bodied and rich sound, and only few of them can fill the songs with so much life with just one guitar. Veronika's voice is brilliantly clear, tender and strong. Not only is her technique uniquely versatile, but she is also very creative vocally. The shifts she can produce in her voice are so precise and subtle, as if she was playing an instrument."
Clarity is a rare asset in jazz. So rare, that it attracts attention straightaway, when an artist has the courage to have absolute transparency. Veronika Harcsa is a Hungarian singer and songwriter, whose greatest strength lies exactly in this clarity, which enchants and bedazzles instantly. She reaches the listener without any detours, gets by without any mysticisms and her voice knows only the most direct way from the soul into the ear. Her unmistakable combination of timbre, structure and responsiveness consistently result in this rare trait: clarity.
The setting on ?Lifelover? is very simple. Veronika Harcsa sings, Bálint Gyémánt plays acoustic guitar. Here and there they loop some things and work with additional tracks; done! Also beyond the tonal attribution the roles are clearly defined. Veronika Harcsa is responsible for the tender, emotional level. Bálint Gyémánt assumes the abstract, cooler part. And still the intentions of the two musicians interfuse to such an extent, that they seem to merge to a single artistic personality. ... read more