Educated in the visual arts, Merja Kokkonen (1979–) expresses her musical passions under the moniker Islaja. Over the past few of years, her music has developed from the fragile, self-taught DIY playing of Meritie, her 2004 debut album on Fonal Records, to the powerful psychedelic folk-rock heard in her recent performances and hinted at on her second album, Palaa aurinkoon (2005). Ecstatic Peace, the label owned and operated by the Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore, will release Islaja's live-album in 2007.
Avanto Club in Gloria on Saturday, 18 November, 9 pm to 3 am.
photo: Anna Hämäläinen