Hafdís Huld

Another artist from Iceland, Hafdís Huld has a voice that I really like, even though I don’t like all of the music she sings. (After the break is a song that showcases that voice!) Her music is more in the modern folk style, relying on voices and guitars (mostly). (Quite different from Björk.)

This is “Wolf” from her 2014 Home.

She has a new album that came out the end of July, so we might be hearing more from Hafdís Huld in future Musical Interludes.

This is Hafdís Huld and Alisdair Wright with a cover of “Creep,” originally by Radiohead.

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The Gate – Astonishing, Even For Björk

Björk’s new album, Utopia, should be released in November. Björk’s “The Gate” Video Is Actually Astonishing, Even For Björk – Noisey

You know when you’ve been out all night, and you’re really fucked, and you finally decide you should try and sleep, so you curl up in bed, dry mouthed, and close your eyes for a second? And then suddenly all this weird shit starts spinning around your brain? Like geometric shapes and faces you don’t recognise and other, intangible stuff you couldn’t even explain to someone with words? Well, Björk’s new video for “The Gate” is kind of like that, but better, because it stars Björk

Björk is wearing a Gucci dress designed especially for the video, so all of this was released as part of London Fashion Week.

The Raven’s Song

A while back I mentioned that Icelandic music has interested me for a while. This all started with Björk, but then I branched out looking for more artists. One of the early folk groups I ran across was Voces Thule. Which translates as Thule Voices. Thule being a far-northern location in classical English and Germanic literature. This is “Krummavísur,” (or “The Raven’s Song”) an Icelandic folk song, sung by Voces Thule. The lyrics and translation are below.

Lyrics English Translation
Krummavisur The Raven’s Song
Krummi svaf í kletta gjá, –
kaldri vetrar nóttu á,
verður margt að meini;
verður margt að meini;
fyrr en dagur fagur rann
freðið nefið dregur hann
undan stórum steini.
undan stórum steini.

Allt er frosið úti gor,
ekkert fæst við ströndu mor,
svengd er metti mína;
svengd er metti mína;
ef að húsum heim ég fer,
heimafrakkur bannar mér
seppi´ úr sorpi´ að tína.
seppi´ úr sorpi´ að tína.

Öll er þakin ísi jörð,
ekki séð á holta börð
fleygir fuglar geta;
fleygir fuglar geta;
en þó leiti út um mó,
auða hvergi lítur tó;
hvað á hrafn að éta?
hvað á hrafn að éta?

Sálaður á síðu lá
sauður feitur garði hjá,
fyrrum frár á velli.
fyrrum frár á velli.
‘Krúnk, krúnk! nafnar, komið hér!
krúnk, krúnk! því oss búin er
krás á köldu svelli.
krás á köldu svelli.’

The raven slept in a rock-rift
On a cold winters night
There are many things that can hurt him
Many things that can hurt him
Before a beautiful day came
He pulls his frozen nose
From underneath a big rock
Underneath a big rock

Everything is frozen outside
You can’t get anything at the beach
I’m so hungry
I’m so hungry
If I go to a house
Fat at home (nickname for dog) forbids me
To pluck from the garbage
To pluck from the garbage

The earth is covered in ice
There is nowhere to “set the table”
Full-fledged birds can fly far.
Full-fledged birds can fly far.
But even though I look everywhere
There’s just one color
What can a raven eat
What can a raven eat?

Dead, lying on its side is
A fat mutton near a fence,
Who once was fast.
Once was fast.
‘Caw, caw! Namesakes (Ravens), come here!
Caw, caw! cos’ ready for us is,
a feast on cold ice.
a feast on cold ice

Retro Rock and Roll for the 21st Century

Sometimes you miss the music you grew up with. Mostly “oldies” stations play the same dozen songs. Not always, but sometimes it seems that way. Inglorious is producing music today that would have been at home on a 1970s top 40s rock station.

This is unashamed rock from the golden age. Hi-speed, heavy riffs and Nathan James vocals bellowed out with passion and real aggression. Think Deep Purple, Black Sabbath or Dio with elements of Iron Maiden and Trapeze. [from Music-News.com]

This is “Taking the Blame” from their June, 2017 album Inglorious II.

Inductive Resonance

While looking for something completely different, I ran across a reference to a Post Punk project by Robert Fripp from the early 80s, The League of Gentlemen.

This is “Inductive Resonance” from the League of Gentlemen, from the album League of Gentlemen. It was released on vinyl in 1981. A friend from college had a copy. It has never shown up on CD, and if it is streaming anywhere, I can’t find it. (The 1960s band by that name is available, and some of the songs have been covered by other artists, but it seems that this album is missing. Amazon is selling something the claims to the be the album, but it is a 1990 compilation that doesn’t include all of the songs.)

Post Punk was always a bit jarring, if not as jarring as some Punk Rock. But definitely moving away from what a lot of people thought of punk, even if the songs were still a bit hard-edged. Post Punk includes groups like Echo and the Bunnymen, The Cure, The Human League, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Gang of Four, etc. While a lot of folks would like to call all this “New Wave” I have to go along with Rolling Stone – They call the term “New Wave” completely meaningless. (It was coined by a bunch of suits, after all. Suits who thought “Punk” was bad for marketing.)