Serious Tam

By Stefanie Achkewich

Singing principally in Kuanuan and Tok Pisin (Pidgin English), Telek weaves the history and culture of the Tolai people of Papua New Guinea in Serious Tam. This album includes a three-part harmony where ancestral drums, resonant acoustics and the hauntingly beautiful voice of Telek combine in a re-telling of traditional songs with a contemporary edge.

Natural rhythms and sounds from the island add texture and richness to the music, giving it meaning beyond the words.

Flavours of island life are expressed through songs such as "Midal," meaning magical charms which is as hypnotic in effect as in intention. More serious themes are touched upon in "Boystown" which bases its story on the lives of young gang members. Serious Tam is a triumph by any standard, and definitely worth a listen.


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