Valkyrja, the 7 full-length album from the Faroe Islands natives TÝR, is a concept album with a story line based loosely around an anonymous Viking age warrior who leaves his woman and goes off to impress the Valkyrie on the battlefield so that she may bring him to Valhalla, or to Fólkvangr, the home of Freyja—the goddess associated with love, sexuality, beauty, fertility, gold, sorcery, war, and death. Recorded at Hansen Studios in Ribe, Denmark with Jacob Hansen who handled production, mixing and mastering, the band began writing guitars and drums for Valkyrja over a year ago with melody lines and arrangements being handled in the studio. The band’s drummer, Kári Streymoy, parted ways with TÝR after the band completed their US run on Pagan Fest and before they entered the studio so TÝR enlisted George Kollias who stepped in to handle recording duties on Valkyrja. In terms of what the band hopes fans take away from the album, bassist Gunnar H. Thomsen states “I hope they will enjoy it and they like the new direction as well as (guitarist) Terji’s bigger involvement in writing and George’s drumming. We had a more upbeat direction without changing TÝR’s style.”
This box with Thåström summarizes his work as a solo artist. The box contains no music with Ebba Grön, Imperiet, Peace, Love & Pitbulls and Sällskapet, focusing solely on his work as an artist in his own name. Eight albums: Thåström (1989), Xplodera mig 2000 (1991), Det är ni som e konstiga det är jag som en normal (1999), Mannen som blev en gris (2002), Skebokvarnsv. 209 (2005), Kärlek är för dom (2009), Beväpna dig med vingar (2012) and Den morronen (2015). Plus 22 bonus tracks. New songs, rework, demos, alternate takes, covers. Among other things, an unreleased recording Cornelis Vreeswijks 'Veronica'.
No one knows quite when tango was established in Finland, but the style has a long history there – still little known to outsiders – and combines rhythmic interest and yearning melody with a distinctively Nordic melancholy. In this ingeniously curated programme, two Finnish tangos from the 1950s and a tango-based work by Finnish classical composer Aulis Sallinen are woven into a bold tapestry of music from the Eastern Baltic seaboard. Longing, sadness, and a heightened sense of nature infuse all of these works, which also reveal intriguing stylistic connections: the rocking accompaniment of Sibelius’ 'Einsames Lied' seems to prefigure the ‘Baltic minimalism’ of Vasks, Pärt and Zita Bružaité, while Olli Mustonen’s 'Toccata' alternates rhythmic verve with a rich vein of reflective memory. These original compositions are complemented by Robert McFall’s own sensitive arrangements, for a core McFall’s lineup of five strings and piano, and the programme culminates in a truly unique version of Sibelius’s famous 'Finlandia' Hymn.