The first time I saw Myrkur (aka Amalie Bruun) she was opening for Wolves in the Throne Room, and I wasn’t expecting my reaction. As she began to sing, I wept. Very few female artists bring that out of me. (Stevie Nicks, Amy Lee, and Sarah McLachlan are amongst the few.) The yearning and passion of true emotion and love, even lost love, is something to be treasured, if not locked away in a time capsule somewhere in the heart. Rumours in the air said Folkesange was going to be more of a pop offering, but I hear no bubblegum, poppycock mannerisms within the confines of this piece of Scandinavian folklore.

The cover art depicts the sounds within, although it looks somewhat like the marquee bulletin for Julie AndrewsThe Sound of Music, and, at moments, Folkesange seems like an ABBA performance cast into a crystal ball at the renaissance festival. She even cites ABBA as an influence of ‘horror pop’ in her What’s In My Bag segment via Amoeba’s YouTube channel. But at no point is she waving S.O.S. into the life veins of her new transmission.

This aural soundtrack opens with a rain shower of cascading acapella in the super consciousness, be it teardrops of fright or fits of laughter. In her rendering, I’m not hearing one ounce of pop sensibility. Part of the mystique and beauty about Myrkur is that, unless you speak Danish, you have no idea about what she’s singing, which brings a romantic quality to the experience. In the past, she’s relied on electric instruments mixed with angelic and demonic vocals, but Folkesange is played exclusively on acoustic instruments such as mandolas, lyres, and a nyckelharpa.

By pop, I think most are referring to the fact that she doesn’t get her black-magik, witchcraft vocals on during Folkesange, but remains in the upper registry and seclusion of doves, sometimes even referencing woodwind or brass-like qualities. It’s Myrkyr’s solemn vocal ability that leads us into the depths of despair only to arise into monumental prosperity reaching for a brighter day.

Over the hills and through the woods I think it might be the listener that finds themselves tracking Red Riding Hood through this fantastic voyage of pagan revelry. I believe Amalie Bruun has finally found inner peace and maturity in her craft. For, as this dancing queen still embraces darkness, I believe both left and right-hand paths can find fulfillment in Folkesange.

Folkesange Track Listing:

1. Ella
2. Fager som en Ros
3. Leaves of Yggdrasil
4. Ramund
5. Tor i Helheim
6. Svea
7. Harpens Kraft
8. Gammelkäring
9. House Carpenter
10. Reiar
11. Gudernes Vilje Vinter

Run Time: 47:00
Release Date: March 20, 2020
Record Label: Relapse Records

Author

I was born in the late 60's amongst hippies and bikers. Cut my teeth on 70's rock and roll surrounded by motorheads and potheads, and in the 80's spread my wings and flourished as a guitarist. In the 90's I became a semi-professional musician knocking on death metals door, as well as entering the world as a freelance writer. In the 2000's I moved to Hollywood and watched the music industry crumble in front of my dreams and then took a break. Now, in the early 2020s I'm ready to rock again… or swing, blues, bluegrass, country, jazz, classical, etc. Its not so much a job to me anymore, but a great way to express myself and have a good time, and, "I know, its only rock and roll but I like it".