Harv Töst

The Swedes seem to be colonising everything from metal to folk music these days. There is a vibrant traditional folk scene in Sweden that is producing innovative instrumentalists like Harv, who both continue the respected Nordic traditions and contribute new compositions to the canon, many of which were composed for the theatre. For their second release, Harv, originally comprised of fiddle duo Magnus Stinnerbom and Daniel Sanden-Warg, have expanded to include acoustic guitarist Peter Stahlgren and percussionist Christian Svensson. Other instruments, such as the willow flute, viola, jaw harp, Moraharpa and hardanger fiddle, fill out the album, with the addition of a few guests on harmonica, shawm, double bass, omnichord and e-bow. Many of the tracks on Töst are slow and methodical, unlike much of what we are used to from Celtic fiddling, with a highly expressive, almost raw sound to the bowed strings. Tracks like the modal "Salvo” find the violins able to phrase and drone much like bagpipes with their grace, notes and embellishments. Many upbeat songs are included and the new members do well to complement and not overpower their fiddling leaders. In addition to the 11 stirring tunes on Töst, there are five live videos included on the CD-Rom. (Northside)