Reviews

‘Fryd’ from Norwegian folk band SVER ­- mixing heritage with freedom of innovation

(June 17, 2015)

There’s something individual and somewhat idiosyncratic about Norwegian folk music. Perhaps it’s engendered by its isolation. Possibly the deep-thinking darkness. Maybe it’s pulling at ancient roots. Whatever the reason, that distinctiveness seeps through the music to make it – well, undeniably Norwegian. This is music that comes with presence. It can effervesce with driving vitality, exude an ‘other-worldly’ quality or herald new realms. In working its magic it can pull you to your feet or beguile you into dreams. sver-fryd-front2-600x600‘Fryd’ from Norwegian folk band SVER does that and more.

The first track ‘Lompa Køyre Traktor’ (the prosaically titled ‘Lompa Drives a Tractor) confirms the charisma of this music with a weave of strings, accordion and pulsating drums, it leads into the equally attention grabbing enthusiasm of the title track ‘Fyrd’ (‘Joy’), which in turn gives way to ‘RUF’ with another frenetic melange. Ignore this music you cannot, the tunes sparkle, their presentation is tight. A looser relaxed flavour comes out through ‘Falsk Vals’ (‘False Waltz’), while an ominous darkness surrounds ‘Sumarkveld I Nivlheim’ (‘Summer Evening in Niflheim’), before the band pays homage to The Shetland Folk Festival in ‘Total Carnage’, with its wild swirling energy. Haunting echoes of melodic tradition run through the engaging ‘Fuggeln’ (‘The Bird’) as an equally memorable melody lifts ‘Mysoxen’ (‘Crazy Oxen’) before the soporific embrace of ‘Sova’ (‘Sleep’) takes hold.

The album ‘Fyrd’ from SVER mixes music from the depths of heritage with the freedoms of innovation. You’re unlikely to resist, so why try, just go with it. Find out more here: www.sverfolk.com/en

SVER is Olav Luksengård Mjelva (fiddle, hardangerfiddle) Anders Hall (fiddle and viola) Leif Ingvar Ranøien (diatonic accordion) Adam Johansson (guitar) and Jens Linell (drums, tambourine, old suitcase). And the band would like to thank Kevin Hendersson in their words for “… helpin wis we da English.”

Review: Tim Carroll

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