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domenica 24 marzo 2024

Linnea Hjertén - Nio Systrar

#FOR FANS OF: Folk Music
Coming from Sweden, the young artist Linnea Hjertén presents its first effort entitled 'Nio Systrar' (Nine Sisters), which has been released by the well-known Swedish label Nordvis. Linnea’s obvious inspiration comes from her country’s folklore and traditional music. Instead of sorely focusing on creating songs which would be a mere portrait of traditionalism, this talented artist is influenced by a different range of projects and styles. In this album, she tries to blend these influences under behind the curtain of a darkened folk music.

Names like Forndom may come to your mind when you listen to Linnea Hjertén, or even the most ethereal sections of Wardruna, although other influences, a la Dead Can Dance, have also something to say in the conceptual inspiration of 'Nio Systrar'. Leaving aside other names, what Linnnea offers us is a dose of atmospheric folk with a strong ritualistic touch. Her angelic and ethereal voice is the driving force of this album, while the added folk instruments create the captivating ritualistic atmosphere around her. It is unsurprising to read that the artist herself mentions that the music was mainly composed in loneliness and with the lights off. I would also strongly recommend doing the same, both being at home or in the twilight moments of the day in the forest.

Linnea’s beautiful voice opens the album with a whispering voice in the album opener "Noder" while a background percussion and atmospheric arrangements, play a secondary role. This approach sets the bar of what we can expect from this album. An even more mysterious tone can be heard in "Vägen In", with this interesting combination of voices which is by far the most captivating aspect of this album and where Linnea has put more effort into it. In general, all the songs follow similar patterns, being some of them almost ambient pieces where the vocals are omnipresent, while others have a slightly greater presence of an acoustic rhythmic base. This homogeneity makes difficult to choose the highlights of the album, although I consider that "Vägen In" and more particularly "Återfödelse" and "Vägen Ut" are the ones whose vocals are especially captivating.

'Nio Systrar' at the end, is with no doubts a very pleasant and hypnotic experience. From my humble point of view, I would welcome a greater and more varied use of folk instruments, as I consider that this would help to create a more varied and surprising compositions. This kind of music perhaps does not need to be particularly varied, but an extra work on this aspect would be very positive, and it would surely help Linnea standing out from other projects. (Alain González Artola)

(Nordvis Produktion - 2024)
Score: 72