Blato Zlato. Photo by Sarrah Danzinger

NOLA-Balkan band Blato Zlato explores climate change on new album

Blato Zlato, the New Orleans band that performs folk music and compositions from the Balkans, is releasing a second album, In The Wake, which explores  the Balkan folk tradition, climate change and New Orleans’ relationship with nature.

In the Wake is a follow-up to the band’s acclaimed debut album, Swamp Gold, and their limited edition vinyl EP, Voyager. After the release of the band’s EP, Blato Zlato performed a large-scale set at Music Box Village titled “The Discovery of Voyager,” in commemoration of the Voyager golden record’s 40th anniversary. 

The new album’s first single, “Vodata Teche,” which translates to “The Water Flows,” was released on Oct. 25 on Folk Radio UK as an editor’s pick. The song was written by the band, with lyrics in Bulgarian, about their anxieties concerning the effects of climate change in Louisiana. The band’s fears are embodied by the ever-present reality of encroaching water, as the singer reminds the listener that “water waits for you all.”

“After two years of touring, performing, and composing together across a wide variety of environments and continents, we’ve written and arranged a batch of new songs that delve into themes of nature, water, and the fragility of life,” says Lou Carrig, the band’s accordionist and vocalist. “Many of our original songs center around our experiences here in New Orleans: we live below sea level with water all around us, and it’s not hard to find the poetry in the intense intermittent storms and sunshine one finds here. And we find ourselves frequently writing about immigration, and home: we write about how our hearts often feel split between New Orleans and Bulgaria, America and Europe.”

The physical CD release of the band’s new album will feature a lyrics and translation booklet. In The Wake will also be available through all major digital streaming services. Fans who preorder the album using the Blato Zlato Bandcamp page will also receive a free download of “Vodata Teche.” The single, “Vodata Teche,” will also be accompanied by the release of a music video before the full album release. The album release will coincide with the band’s Balkan-music blowout bash, featuring other Balkan bands Trendafilka and Backyard Balkan Brass Band. This album release party will take place on Nov. 22 from 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Happyland Theater (3126 Burgundy St.).