You are hereAlbum Review: Annlaug - November (Fivereld)
Album Review: Annlaug - November (Fivereld)
The thought of listening to a full album's worth of Norwegian songs was at first a daunting prospect. Then along came Annlaug. This impressive debut from the Bergen-based singer-songwriter and fiddler Annlaug Borsheim, cleverly sees her mixing those native Norwegian folk influences with Celtic rhythms to startling effect. Beautifully produced by Mattie Foulds, with an impressive supporting cast of musicians including Steven Polwart, Kevin McGuire, Inge Thomson, Martin Green, Aidan O'Rourke and Anna Massie, NOVEMBER demonstrates perfectly well that there is something quite intoxicating about Annlaug's distinctive voice, despite all the songs being sung in her native tongue. There's a full accompanying lyric book for those who wish to know what the songs are about, but this reviewer is quite content to wallow in the ignorance of it, just like when listening to Julie Fowlis or Karen Matheson for example. The sound of the rich arrangements together with the emotive voice is quite enough to enjoy.
Recorded at Castlesound Studios, the thirteen compositions, mostly songs with the occasional instrumental, feature some fine string arrangements courtesy of Kim Edgar, along with some instantly recognisable contributions, from the voice of Inge Thomson and the intuitive double bass of Kevin McGuire to a stunning fiddle duet with Lau's Aidan O'Rourke on Nar Eg Kjeme Heim.
Opening with the chirpy Ord Som Fell or Falling Words, Annlaug's poetic lyrics draw the listener in with little persuasion. The title song then takes you by surprise with its no nonsense folk rock delivery, whilst the traditional Norwegian lullaby Suril Luril changes the mood with its almost otherworldly atmosphere, aided by Steve Polwart's trance-like banjo accompaniment.
Annlaug is quite the discovery of the year thus far and NOVEMBER an unexpected gem. Watch out for some UK appearances this Summer.