Written by: BV on 20/01/2016 14:46:12

Every once in a while you’ll find yourself abandoning your comfort zone for a while, to venture into territories you either forgot you liked, or territories you’ve honestly never really given a chance. The following is kind of a mix for me, as I quite like ambient, mellow folk music but I’ve never really been in the mindset to actually give into a full-on listening spree where I not only listen to the album I’m going to review, but also set about exploring like-minded contemporary acts and obvious inspirations. Nonetheless, that’s what I set about doing when I received Bjergtaget’s self-titled debut album.

Opening with “Nattens Stjerner” there is an immediate, airy quality to the proceedings which is both enticing and utterly relaxing. Stephan C. Krabsen’s vocals are distinctive in their own way – sounding completely detached from more traditional vocal traditions within this folk-inspired, slightly pop-infused soundscape. The vibe of the track is surprisingly light compared with my initial impression of Bjergtaget as a very moody and quite melancholic outfit. Sure, there is an air of melancholy hovering above the lyrics of the 13 tracks on this particular album, but the music surrounding those lyrics predominantly keep things on the lighter side as if to balance some of it out.

It also helps in the long run with creating this sort of mysterious setting where none of the songs’ meanings are made direct, save for “Forelsket” which is fairly more straightforward than the rest of the album. “De Ord Der Kommer Frem” is perhaps the most distinctive track on the album – due, in no small part, to the almost edgy piano playing which sets the track apart from the otherwise guitar-dominated album. Krabsen’s vocals sound fragile in a very inviting way, as if the expressions from it could break at any moment, yet you cannot help trying to move closer even though you’re at risk of them fading completely if you get too close.

Credit must also be given to the rest of Bjergtaget, however, as Thor Boding’s bass and Mads Thorbjørn Jensen’s drumming subtly underline Krabsen’s often peculiar guitar playing – like on “Sjældne Gaver” where you barely notice the rhythm-foundation of the track, yet if you were to take it away, the track would lose an integral part of the soundscape. There’s also something very chilling, almost hauntingly pure about both Thor Boding and Simone Maja Pedersen’s backing vocals adding some subtle power to the delicate words coming from Stephan C. Krabsen.

What it all then comes down to, is that Bjergtaget are in many ways a quite unique outfit. I had my fair share of troubles finding something entirely similar, at the very least. - Leading me down paths of ancient and obscure loner folk, progressive folk bands like The Incredible String Band and, at times, something almost Nick Drake sounding. What I can say for sure, however, is that Bjergtaget surprised me quite positively by giving me the first great listening experience of 2016 (or at least the first great listening experience released in 2016, if we’re being picky about it).


Download: Nattens Stjerner, De Ord Der Kommer Frem, Se Hvordan Det Går, Sjældne Gaver
For the fans of: Nick Drake, C.V. Jørgensen, The Incredible String Band, Dave Bixby
Listen: Facebook

Release date 22.01.2016

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