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Genres: World Music, Pop
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1

What you might expect is not what you will get on this excellent folk album from Sweden. Emma Härdelin is the striking lead singer from Garmarna, a successful Swedish folk rock band. Janne Strömstedt (harmonium) and Kjell-...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Triakel
Title: Triakel
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Northside Records
Original Release Date: 9/15/1998
Release Date: 9/15/1998
Genres: World Music, Pop
Styles: Europe, Scandinavia
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 021561601826

What you might expect is not what you will get on this excellent folk album from Sweden. Emma Härdelin is the striking lead singer from Garmarna, a successful Swedish folk rock band. Janne Strömstedt (harmonium) and Kjell-Erik Eriksson (fiddle) are members of Hoven Droven, a kind of hard-rock-with-brass group with a very heavy sound. These three get together to perform an all-acoustic set of traditional folk songs. The themes are dark: murder, unrequited love, and general human mayhem. Unlike their respective regular bands, they use this trio opportunity to make a direct statement about the music, with no fusion or props--just excellent musicianship, solid arrangements, and a sense of awe for how powerful this material was, and is, on its own. Härdelin is a bold singer whose every nuance colors the stories in these songs. Eriksson's fiddle is strong, bowed with enthusiasm where needed, graceful where necessary. Strömstedt's harmonium (a pump organ) offers a dark, sometimes droning presence--a weighty underpinning that suits these songs perfectly. --Louis Gibson

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CD Reviews

Haunting, haunting stuff
Andrew Campbell | Bar Harbor, ME USA | 01/13/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I have been a fan of both Garmarna and Hoven Droven for some time. And every once in a while, in both groups' albums, it feels like there's too much going on... maybe my stereo can't quite figure out all the incredible background drones...But this combination of the two bands is incredible in its pared-down simplicity. Emma Hordelin's voice comes through and above the incredibly warm tones of the harmonium, clear, and clean. There are few frills on this album and that's what makes it beautiful. Where, by contrast, for example, Garmarna is doing impressive things with tape-loops and sampled sounds, this album has a distilled, almost crystalline quality.For want of a better adjective, this is a haunting album. The melodies stay with you like long-lost friends, always somewhere in the shadow of your memory."
Unexpectedly fun music comes from this unusual ensemble. | Austin, Texas | 10/07/1998
(3 out of 5 stars)

"The other review here pretty much said it all for this album's music, but I would like to add comments on several aspects of the work. First, you will be amazed at how versatile an instrument the harmonium is; we expect it to be corny--and when need be, it is--but it can also be quite gothic or even rocking. Second, when you get this CD, give it one listen without reading the lyrics, and try to guess what the songs are about. You will startled by the gruesomeness of some of the lyrics, especially those which flow to bright, cheery tunes. Third, I want to applaud Alistir Cochrane, who translated the lyrics. The translations rhyme and scan to the tunes, thus making the songs accessible to English-speaking artists who want to borrow them. Fourth, I want to say that harmonium, fiddle, and voice work together much better than you ever would have thought."
It's better than that
Robert Wright | Portland, Me. USA | 03/17/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The other reviews of this CD are accurate enough, except that it's better than 3/5. Although North American listeners start out not knowing the songs at all, they come to seem like songs you've known since childhood. The whole sound and atmosphere of the music appears "self-evident", as if this is not something new in your collection, but something that must always have existed, according to the laws of music. I hope Triakel will continue as a project for these three performers - this CD is one of my happiest musical finds in many months, and I want more of it."