Myrkur, aka Amalie Bruun, shared a cover of the traditional English folk ballad “Matty Groves” on Instagram earlier this week. Bruun’s Myrkur project has seen her love for Nordic folk music gradually dominate her music as she’s progressed from weaving elements of folk into the atmospheric black metal of M (2015) to fully embracing traditional folk for Folkesange (2020). Now, she says she’s been enamored with other Western European folk traditions as well.
“If you know me, you know that I have played and loved Nordic folk music all my life,” Bruun captioned the post. “But I also have been very fascinated with English, Celtic, Scottish traditional folk music, pretty much since I got my first violin age 6. Diving face first into Child Ballads, so much to learn and to love. This is Matty Groves, a tragic love story of a noblewoman who cheats on her husband with little Matty and then 80 verses later Matty gets killed by the sword 🗡”
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Bruun sings into the camera in a clear voice, with just her guitar accompanying her. The ballad begins, “A holiday, a holiday, and the first one of the year/Lord Donald’s wife came into the church, the gospel for to hear/And when the meeting it was done, she cast her eyes about/And there she saw little Matty Groves, walking in the crowd…”
Myrkur’s last release was a piano & strings rendition of “Dronning Ellisiv,” a song written by modern Nordic folk composer Harald Foss. It’s a cinematic-sounding cover with layered vocal melodies floating out over its subtle instrumental arrangements.
In June 2020, she collaborated with Anna von Hausswolff for a chilling cover of Björk’s “All Is Full Of Love.” Later in the year, she recorded a version of her 2015 track “Onde børn” with the vocals translated into Simlish, The Sims video game franchise’s fictional language.
Photo credit: Raymond Flotat