Recommended: Hvalfugl – “By”


The music of Hvalfugl is so damn beautiful.  The trio’s debut album By stakes out territory where Scandinavian folk and Nordic Jazz share a border, which means you’re gonna get some lovely melodic imagery set in an environment where a thick, moody ambiance has all kinds of potency.  The melody of “Stormsvale” goes waltzing, light on its feet even during those passages when the song dips into contemplation, whereas on “Novemberhymne,” the melody alternates between brief melodic fragments and extended exhalations.  The spry “Mäsk” delivers a hook as sharp as any pop song, but its complex motion exposes facets of the melody that transcend superficiality.  There’s a couple interludes to help set the scene, but the album is comprised entirely by short pieces that get to the point.  There’s no time for enchantment like the present, each piece states unequivocally.  Beauty starts with the first note.  That’s also how each song ends.

It is difficult to adequately express the joy of giving a listen to some obscure recording that came unsolicited to my inbox and discover it to be the most beautiful thing ever.  The sheer volume of new releases that cross my path in a given month is extreme.  Inevitably, a lot of that music is going to be fine, okay, middle of the road stuff that doesn’t do much for me.  Nothing to be done about that.  So when I hit play on an album like By, it’s just so damn thrilling, so rewarding, and just plain enjoyable to spend a rainy afternoon listening to it over and over again, relishing every gorgeous melody and its friendly rhythmic patter, like rain on the window pane.  That effect is magnified when the album is no less lovely to my ear when I return to it later and each subsequent day after.

Go buy this album.

Your album personnel:  Anders Juel Bomholt (double bass), Jeppe Lavsen (guitar) and Jonathan Fjord Bredholt (piano).

The album is Self-Produced.

Listen to more of the album at the artist’s Soundcloud page or on Bandcamp.

Music from Aarhus, Denmark.

Available at:  Bandcamp | Amazon | eMusic