Ingebjørg Bratland: Berre meg (Just Me)

September 2, 2015

Bratland2Winter Landscape, Spring Voice

Listening Post 10. Perusing the bleak scenes at Oslo’s Munch Museum, you can be forgiven for thinking that Norway’s most renowned painter worked only in winter. Ingebjørg Bratland’s songs focus more on singing larks and summer meadows. What the two share is uncommon artistry. Munch’s piercing insight keeps despair from leaping out of the frame. On Berre meg (Just Me), Bratland’s first solo album, a stunning confluence of voice and melody keeps the message from becoming saccharine. Her voice is lilting yet confident, composed of soothing tones that carry touches of whisper and echo. The album starts on two highs: Strandefjell (the name refers to a mountain in Norway) and Ingen som du (No One Like You; video). The lush vocals continue throughout, in Fiolinisten (Violinists), written by Norway’s pre-eminent singer-songwriter Odd Nordstoga; to Fugl (Flight), composed by Bratland; to Snøfall (some Norwegian words DO sound just like English). Her music blends pop with deep folk roots, clear in the backing instruments (mandola, acoustic and soft electric guitars, a Norwegian zither called a langeleik) and the artists around her. In addition to Nordstoga’s contribution, Esbjörn Hazelius, a leading Swedish folksinger-composer, plays the mandola on eight of the album’s tracks. As for Bratland, her enchanting sound stands up well beside some of the colder highlights of the cultural landscape. (Universal Music)




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