wears the trousers magazine

free music sunday: kalbakken
May 10, 2009, 10:36 am
Filed under: free music friday, mp3, review | Tags: , , ,

‘Hvem Kan Segle’

Half-Norwegian brother and sister duo Kirsty and David Birchall Nyhuus have been making music together as Kalbakken for roughly four years now from their base in Manchester. Their debut album, Then I Saw Summer & Sun On The Earth, is released on May 25th through Little Red Rabbit Records, and belies the siblings’ background in punk and improvisational bands with 13 songs of red-blooded traditional Scandinavian folk. In a way, it’s an album that Kirsty and David were always destined to make and has a strong connection to their childhood and ancestry. Some of the melodies found here have been passed down from generation to generation of their family, while others have been reconstructed from transcriptions discovered in dusty old books belonging to the Deichmanske Bibliotek in Oslo. The album’s English title (taken from the translation of ‘Så Klarnet Livet’) seems rather incongruous given that, where there are discernable lyrics rather than freestyle vocalisation, the songs are all in Norwegian, but that’s a minor niggle when the music is so raw and moving.

‘Hvem Kan Segle’, which translates to ‘Who Can Sail’, has been popularised throughout Scandinavia in various guises and was one of the first songs the pair learnt to play. Compared to other tracks on the album, it’s one of the simplest with only acoustic guitar and violin to embellish the lulling combination of David’s deep but sensitive vocal and Kirsty’s beautifully airy, almost naïve phrasing. Indeed, the song’s simplicity is what makes it so hypnotic. Just don’t expect everything on this unusually magical collection to slip down so easily. This is dark and powerful stuff. MP3 after the jump.


Then I Saw Summer & Sun On The Earth
01 Budeie Sang (Milkmaids Song)
02 Såg Du Noko (Did You See My Sweetheart?)
03 Bjørka Fra Bjåland (Birch From Bjåland)
04 Hvem Kan Segle (Who Can Sail)
05 Synnøves Sang (Synnøves Song)
06 Bansul (Lullaby)
07 Hesten Fra Förnes (Bay Horse From Fornes)
08 Horpa (Harp)
09 Så Klarnet Livet (The Path Of Life Is Clear)
10 Lalling Fra Trysil (Lalling From Trysil)
11 Bonden Og Kråka (Farmer & The Crow)
12 Jeg Lagde Meg Så Sildig (I Lay Down So Late)
13 Dæ Æ So Fagert I Finneslotte (It’s So Beautiful At Finneslotte)

Alan Pedder


FREE MP3: Kalbakken, ‘Hvem Kan Segle’


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Party time for blankpages!…

Join us in celebrating the launch of blankpages issue 12.
Friday 15th May, 7-11pm, The Black Lion, 65 Chapel St, Salford, M3 5BZ‎ – 0161 834 9009

Kalbakken / Gerry Potter / Annette Cookson / Steve O’Connor / Trashed Couture

For one night…

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