Icelandic band Hugar have shared the second single from their forthcoming EP ‘Þjóðlög / Folk Songs’, set for release on 28th May via Sony's XXIM Records.
The joint project of instrumentalists, composers and producers Bergur Þórisson and Pétur Jónsson, Hugar's newest work reinterprets five Icelandic folk songs, using them as base material to add their own sounds, spacial atmospheres and simple piano arrangements.
Icelandic priest and composer, Bjarni Thorsteinsson (1861-1938), is the foremost inspiration behind ‘Þjóðlög / Folk Songs’—without his music this release simply wouldn't exist. He compiled music from across the country from friends and supporters, documenting melodies, lyrics and sometimes the context the music was created in, the results of which were gathered in the compendium 'Þjóðlög'. It was nearly lost forever because no publisher could be found—there was little interest in what was seen then as a primitive early history of Iceland. Today it stands as the most revered source of Icelandic music tradition.
Speaking about the concept behind the release, Hugar explain, “These are very old Icelandic songs that were part of an oral tradition, luckily saved for the nation by having been written down in the late 19th century. We feel that it is very important to keep these songs alive. They reflect our long, dark, raw winters with their themes of loss, grief and darkness. Our aim is to represent this sonically and these are some of our favourites from the collection”.
The first single, a solo piano version of the song 'Vísur Vatnsenda-Rósu' was shared on Piano Day on 29th March 2021.
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