The Danish artist, Myrkur, has been hard to place in the record store racks. When we saw the project of Amalie Bruun in London, it was in a church packed with bearded men with runes on their jackets. The audience said “black metal,” but the music was a combination of Nordic folk songs and originals performed using traditional instruments.
That performance appears to have set the tone for Myrkur’s new approach. Having become a parent, Bruun has returned to the source material of her childhood for Folkesange, her new album.
The first track to be unveiled is “Ella,” which Bruun explains as:
the result of years of studying, playing and listening to traditional Nordic folk music. This is my version of a new folk-song, with roots planted in history and in the past. It is my ode to mankind and our connection with nature – a rite of passage as a woman and a rebirth-ritual in the sea.
Three years ago I decided to share a video where I performed an old Scandinavian folk-song on the nyckelharpa. After this I realized that I had a strong need to create an album within this universe and that other people also wished to hear this. So I started working on picking out what old songs to reinterpret as well as write my own version of this. “Ella” is this.
It was strange, in London, to see bearded men whooping to Swedish songs about virgins sitting under birch trees, but it is hard not to cheer Myrkur’s change of direction. Like Madonna’s Ray of Light, the material is rooted in feminine energy to bring balance to their universe.