Release: 5 March 2021
Another album that was on my list of anticipated releases for 2021 is the latest from Norway’s Byrdi. “Byrjing” (meaning “beginning” or “starting point”) is their 3rd album following their amazing sophomore effort from 2017 “Ansur : Urkraft”. Officially released on March 5th via Trollmusic, the album features 8 tracks totaling about 46 minutes of music with 3 tracks being released prior to the album…..”Heim”, “Huldre” and opening track “Solsnu” which has been available to hear since 2018. If you are a fan of Byrdi I am sure that the long layoff has been a concern, but you may now set your worries aside as they have come back stronger than ever. First, I think a description may begin with a comparison to Wardruna which I think does work as they are both stylistically “heathen folk” (or something akin to that description). However, if I were to take it one step further, I would add some level of “progressive” in there…..now you may be thinking “progressive”? Yes, in so far that there are many layers within each track but not super technical so “progressive” may be a stretch, but I feel it is appropriate. Byrdi has 2 main components I feel with vocals and percussion/rhythmic patterns being the most apparent with augmenting instrumentation, so it has a very minimalistic feel but is also complex in its construction. While these seem like diametrically opposed ideas, it works in the accessibility of the tracks while making for a thought-provoking listen. Most importantly, “Byrjing” really draws you in for repeated listens and invites you to peel back all of its layers. I am not sure if “Solsnu” really fits in with the overall feel of the rest of the album, so I am glad that it is at the beginning with the remaining tracks feeling more cohesive with each other. Sonically as with their previous efforts, there is a very natural and minimalistic approach to the mix…..its like you are right there. Byrdi is still somewhat under the radar and may not have the notoriety of other acts but with “Byrjing” it is only a matter of time before everyone find them. Great listen.
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