Kalbakken - Then I Saw Summer And Sun On The
Then I Saw Summer And Sun On The Earth
CD in letter press printed cardboard sleeve with booklet printed
by Incline press Oldham
Release date: 25th May 2009
Kalbakken are half Norwegian sibling duo Kirsty and
David Nyuus Birchall. They have a background in punk and improv
styles but, as Kalbakken, they play their own readings of
Scandinavian folk melodies, building new arrangements around old
tunes. The group started with one Norwegian song their mother had
sung to them as children and spiralled from there, learning
melodies passed down through their family and making exhaustive
trips to Norwegian libraries to trawl the archives. Kalbakken make
unique music that is out of time yet of all time as well. From the
gale force, in-your-face thrust of 'Bjork i Bjalands' to the drone
and doom of 'Horpa', it's clear this is not part of any polite,
nostalgic folk revival. This is the real deal ñ musicians right
now connecting to the blood and guts, fear and dread of
centuries-old storytelling. The duo are fearless performers,
unselfconscious and willing to abandon themselves to the joy and
pain of their source material. Fans of artists as diverse as Nico,
Dirty Three, the Finnish folk underground and Bjork will find the
music of Kalbakken speaks to them.
" There's no doubting the hypnotic quality of their haunting
music. Their adaptations of traditional songs from their homeland
have an alluring mystery to them, fuelled by swirling violins and
violent percussion. "
"This beautifully presented debut LP from a Norwegian
brother-sister duo sees the traditional folk melodies of their
homeland wrestled into new, rough-hewn arrangements - the Nyhuus
pair imbue their readings with irrepressible sincerity."
WEARS THE TROUSERS
"13 songs of red-blooded traditional Scandinavian folk...raw and
moving. This is dark and powerful stuff."
"Beautiful and haunting Scandinavian folk by way of Manchester.
There's pretty much everything you might want in these songs:
beauty, dissonance, tradition, experimentation. Though they are
all sung in languages I don't understand, the phrasing, the
melodies and the music still speak to me - these are folk songs
that are connected at some genetic level between countries,
cultures and continents. They have a lot in common with some
Scottish bands like Harem Scarem or Trembling Bells, and though
this was recorded in Manchester it has the ability to transport
the listener elsewhere."
"Spine-tingling... This is an album that's something special,
undoubtedly, and housed in a beautiful printed card case."
"This Manchester-based brother/sister folk duo have found quite a
striking and distinct niche for themselves: adventurous
reinterpretations of traditional (and largely forgotten)
Scandinavian folk songs. Kalbakken are not mere revivalists,
however: many of the arrangements here are quite wild, raw, and
occasionally harsh, sometimes even veering into the microtonal
avant garde. Kirsty and David exhibit a passion and a refreshing
wide-eyed sincerity on their debut that is damn hard to resist.
Inspired stuff. 8/10 ."
"'Then I Saw Summer & Sun On The Earth' delivers a succession
of fraught, tense and stark compositions. The slightly unhinged
voice of Kirsty stirs up a series of soundtracks that would be
equally at home on vast frozen plains, a dry savannah or the dusty
desolation of the middle east. Kalbakken refuse to create syrupy
twee songs, but instead proceed to scare the hell out of the
listener in between their pure, angelic off kilter interludes. A
strange, but compelling concoction."
"beautifully sung throughout and, blended with a gentle yet
stirringly dark modern folk sound, makes for a really engaging
listen. You find yourself being taken away from reality and
plunged into their magical world, which is of full dark fables and
tales of Norwegian history. It holds a real charm to it which
reeled me in instantly."
DIE SHELLSUIT DIE
"Sounds like something Tolkien might have heard in his head,
Nordic Morris dancing and rather like something you might hear at
an over-enthusiastic Bar Mitzvah. It actually freaks me out a bit
and puts me properly on edge in places, and I'm not sure why."
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