Saturday 22 September 2007

Nordic Roots Music

In a recent post about the amazing film "You, The Living" I mentioned that I was a big fan of Scandinavian folk music. The modern version of this music is better described as "Nordic Roots" - the recent bands take classic old folk songs as the basis and inspiration for their own music and also put different spins on those older tunes. While you'll find some traditional instruments (the nyckelharpa, hurdy-gurdy, jews harp, lute, accordion), many of the groups also use modern electric and electronic instruments.

I find that the traditional sound of these folk tunes falls somewhere between Indian and Celtic folk - kind of a missing link of sorts. A common thread with many of the groups are the gorgeous melodies - some frightening, some terribly sad and some sunny and cheerful. All of the bands below can be found on the terrific Northside label and I encourage some browsing of their web site. They have lovely album covers as well:

Hoven Droven

Likely my favourite band anywhere. I've been fortunate to see them live 3 times in Toronto and each time has been a wonderful joyous experience.


Just terrific interplay between the band members on this beautiful song.


Though not on this particular song, these guys will bring sampling and electronic beats into traditional style compositions - and they make it work tremendously well.


Simply glorious voices...


This song actually became part of a pretty popular viral video of an anime style girl twirling an onion. I kinda like this version better.

Sounds pretty cool on electric guitar too...

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