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Vesselil
Vesselil

Go' Danish Folk Music
Review by Chris Nickson

The Danish string trio (violin, viola, cello and voices) have been around since the end of 2015, but this debut shows the wisdom of taking time over a first release. A mix of original compositions with traditional folk from Denmark, Sweden, and Belgium, the pieces show just how well the musicians understand and work with each other, and how they've allow things to simmer and develop.

That's perfectly illustrated on the album's longest track, "Opdagede Omsider" written by violin/viola player Clara Tesch. While a piece of its soul might lie in folk music, it has more in common with a modern string quartet, and the instruments create a delicately beautiful, complex web of sound that draws in the listener. Even the first piece they wrote together, "Asgar," shows the interweaving of instruments and some very deep communication.

Although all three sing, much of the music here is instrumental, playing to their strength, although "Stolt Vesselil" (the story of a proud young woman and the inspiration for the band's name) finds them in gleeful voice; easy to tell how much they relish the words.

They approach the traditional pieces with respect for the past, but refuse to be slaves to it. "Pericondine/Hold On," for instance, brings Belgium into the equation purely because the tune springs up in that tradition as well as Denmark (you were wondering, weren't you?), and they're as likely to take their favourite version of a piece rather than the best-know. Why not? It's their band, their album, their rules, and they do it with real passion and skill. Making something like this work is one thing; making it stand out is utterly different. They do it with ease and with great style. Chris Nickson

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