Myrkur - Folkesange

Key Facts

Country: 🇩🇰
Genre: Folk/Black Metal
Release Date: 20th March 2020
Record Label(s): Relapse Records

Band Members

Myrkur (Amalie Bruun) – vocals, piano, nyckelharpa, violin, guitar, percussion, synths, organ

Myrkur - Ella

Rating (out of 5🤘):🤘🤘🤘🤘🤘
Favourite Track(s): Ella, Gudernes Vilje, Fager Som En Ros, Ramund, Tor I Helheim, Reiar, Svea

The highly talented and versatile Myrkur is back! After recently becoming a mother, Folkesange is a stripped back Myrkur with a deeply dense and enriched Scandinavian heartbeat with a contradictory dark and uplifting blood pumping through its veins. With a Hans Dahl (Norwegian artist 1849-1937)  painting for its cover that semi-tells the story of this album. There is a Danish and Scandinavian pride in this album which harkens back to the more folk elements of 2017's Mareridt but with a progressive push forward into new realms of composition accompanied by a strong focus on atmosphere and soundscape. I've always loved Myrkur's drive to push the boundaries and not confine herself to one particular style template. Folkensagne is a perfect album to get lost in and soundtrack your own exploration into the various realms that surround you, real or imaginary.

Musically, there is a lot to digest and understand. The quickest way I can sum up the album is a  hybrid between Germany's Faun and Norway's Wardruna in some aspects but with elements of Jonna Jinton style kulning's (Old Scandinavian herding calls, similar to yodelling but much higher in pitch). The main thing that I love about this album is that Myrkur really gets to show of her voice, the range of vocal melody and harmony is beautiful to listen to with this epic and dark folk backdrop. The music definitely congress up images of fjords and valleys, on the seven minute journey that is Tor I Helheim. The song starts off with a kulning that could wake the giants in Jotunheim and then proceeds to take you on this amazing adventure and gives you just enough to leave you wanting more. Not forgetting Myrkur's black metal roots, I feel that Folkesange is Myrkur's equivalent to Winterfylleth's The Hallowing Of Heirdom, a completely stripped back performance that explores and expresses the folk influence of the artist in question. Throughout the album there is an underlying atmosphere of peaceful simplicity, it does try to synthetically create the environment that the songs sit in. A lot of the atmosphere and emotion that transcends the album is all natural, this gentle ebb and flow between songs, like one giant tapestry telling a long and intricate story woven with intrigue and mystery. Even so there is a darkness to it, wether that be influenced by the long, dark Nordic winters or something else, it definitely gives the album an edge in my opinion especially on Gammelkäring. The arrangement of each composition, I've found, is very much less is more. There only ever seems to be a couple of instruments and vocals but in the case of songs like Ella, Gudernes Vilje, Reiar and Harpens Kraft, this works well because of the strength of the melodies and rhythms. The whole album is melodically and harmonically rich, this for me, shows how experienced and intelligent a songwriter Myrkur is. Overall, the album is beautifully crafted, weaved together with significant care from start to finish, after the chaotic fever dream that was 2017's Mareridt, Folkesange is the calm after the storm, which is perfectly captured in the album's closing track Vinter. I think this album with appreciated by metalheads and folk lovers alike!

The production for me is a stripped back as the songs. It feels like an album that just needed fine tweaks and the rest of the production work went into creating the atmospheres and soundscapes through the various uses of reverbs and delays. The main thing I'm drawn to is the vocals, they layering of the lead and backing vocals especially. They way the have been made to sound is beautifully mystical, enchanting and graceful. Through this intricate use of reverb we get this amazing effect that accentuates the vocals and for me makes them envelop my ears. With the instruments predominately mixed in the back ground, there has been a considered approach to make sure there is enough low end to fill out the remaining space left by the vocals. They also have been painted by the reverb brush but it works in coalition with the vocals. Overall, the music itself is stripped back as a result so is the mix, but I applaud the effort that has gone in to create the beautiful soundscapes and highlighting the extraordinary versatility of Myrkur's voice and songwriting talent.

Even in these trying times there are rays of sunshine coming through the black clouds, for me this album is one of them. You can deep listen to it and enjoy it in the background with equal pleasure from both experiences. If you fancy a dose of Danish folk, spin Folkesange now!

Myrkur - Folkesange


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