What Listeners Are Saying:
Harmonies as rich
rhythms as various
voices as wholesome
as the breath of Gaia
A wonderful romp across Scandinavia. Thank you for sharing your talent
and your dreams.
Delightful! Your enthusiasm is very engaging and the stories of the
songs and explanations of the instruments were great!
You guys are wonderful - funny, and sound great!
Thanks for playing today!
Fantastico! Bravo! Lovely music and a real treat!
Great music - one of the best yet
Great music to put on while you're cooking breakfast.
Review of Fager som en ros
by Aryeh Frankfurter:
It was with great pleasure that I listened to the debut CD of
Scandinavian trio, Nykken. The quality of the recording is excellent
- pure, clean with wonderful range of sounds. While CD packaging is
less and less an important part of music production in our digital
age, I was really impressed with the beautiful digi-pack
presentation which really invited me to pop it open and put the CD
on the player. Extensive liner notes accompanied which I really
enjoyed reading as I listened.
I will forego explaining all the wonderful panoply of instruments
the group plays, including vocals - but there are a lot of them and
many quite unusual, which in itself will be of great interest to any
prospective listener. Nykken is: Barbary Grant on Celtic harp,
cello, button accordion, percussion and Norwegian vocals; Verlene
Schermer on harpguitar, nyckelharpa, fiddle, cittra, harp and
Swedish vocals; and Enid Bennion on nyckelharpa and harmony vocals.
Even though the group hails from California, Nykken evokes a
great deal of authenticity in the genre of Scandinavian folk music.
I have listened to a lot of Scandinavian folk music, and had I not
known that they are American, I would have thought this was a group
from Sweden. Playing Scandinavian folk music in an authentic style
is no easy feat as the music requires a certain "feel" and "lilt" to
get right. I had been told outsiders can spend 10 years living in
Sweden steeped in the music and learning from native musicians - and
after all that, still be "just starting" to "get" the music. Nykken
really seems to have defied that!
All the instruments are performed with deft facility and the vocals,
to my ear, sound like native born speakers. The arrangements are
very refined, skilled and at times quite intricate without sounding
overly so - just natural, and naturally interesting. It would be
difficult to pick out a stand-out track on this diverse album. I am
sure the gorgeous song "Stilla Ro Och Nära" would bring a tear to
many eyes. "Grevelius Polska" "Slängpolska efter Byss Kalle" and "Slängpolska
efter Juringius" are familiar tunes culled from the repertoire of
the internationally famous Swedish folk trio, Väsen, but Nykken
brings their own sound and take on them which render them very
enjoyable - like you're greeting an old friend who had an
interesting change of look that makes them seem fresh and happy.
Nykken offers a wonderful opportunity for all listeners of
Scandinavian folk music. They offer beautiful and accessible
material to draw in new listeners. And for those who are already
familiar with Scandinavian folk music, Nykken does the music justice
by their skilled and authentic renderings.
Aryeh Frankfurter is a professional recording artist and