The last couple days I’ve been out picking up firewood, bones, plants and getting bit by ticks (twice in fact) and witnessing some truly astonishing sunlit forests among backroads. The forest trillium are blooming as are the wild violets making gentle purple waves among the deep floors of these swampy lowlands that I inhabit. Spring has been struggling to reach it’s full potential in Michigan, with numerous Frost Warnings and brisk winds making it feel as if it’s October again. Supposedly that is going to change this coming week but with Michigan things change unexpectedly.
Lately I have been struggling a bit with my own anxieties whether it be over stimulation, too much noise, too much everything really. When it gets to the point where I know I’m going back into isolation, and distancing mode it’s time to recharge my spirit and body. To ease some of this I’ve made it a point to be a bit more focused on putting myself first and saying No more often. It’s easy for me to take on too much and then resent it. To ground myself I made my way out to put my hands in the dirt of my garden and Hedningadrapa by Ehlder began playing and it was instantly hypnotizing.
I will be completely honest, writing on this Blog and working with Katie is the first time in a very long time I’ve felt ignited to go out of my way to listen to new music. At this point I know what I like and generally don’t pay much attention to new releases or the “scene” so to speak. However, the label Nordvis and sister labels always have exactly what I need, every.single.time. Ehlder is no exception. Organic, trance like mediations of that very noticeable Nordic composition and sound. “Hedningadrapa” ( which translates to Pagan Slaying) transports you directly into the deep woods and desolate tree lines of Sweden. As I worked in the garden, it felt like fresh air stuck with various woody resins entered into my lungs.
Completely mesmerizing, Graavehlder creates an atmosphere matching the cover art of Nordabetraktelse. Graavehlder, who is also behind Lik and Armagedda, brings a stripped back sound to more so constitute the natural soundings which is warm, stirring and primal. The primitive type of approach is enough to wild the spots that too much modernity has touched in the body. As you listen, you become easily enveloped in not only feral psalms but a true shapeshift into a history only remaining in the bark of the ancient pines. It’s like being welcomed to listen to the lost voices of old forgotten north winds. A true journey of wild spirits. Near the end of “Hedningadrapa ” Graav employs large clean vocals, howls and chants and it really drives home the feeling of deep connectiveness and the cosmic swirling of northern myths and archaic beliefs.
I’m so delighted to have a deep resonance with a release, it’s been too long.