It’s never occurred to me to review a song in Latin but this one is the second we’ve had where the lyrics are in an extinct language called Kalixmål which originates from the area around Kalix älvdal in northern Sweden and which is only spoken today by a couple of hundred people. Kalix means ‘the cold river’ and the Kalixmål originates from Germans who arrived along the coast of the Gulf of Bothnia around 1100 AD. The area was likely visited by the Vikings, too.
OK, history lesson over. ‘Drööman’ is the second single from artist Vera Vinter – who is from the area – and violinist Hanna Ekström, and from their forthcoming full-length album. The idea for the song comes from an audio recording that the artists stumbled upon while doing research about traditional folk music ‘Vevgrammofonstämman’ in the Dalarna province.
On the recording we hear an old man speaking about lost dreams and life chances he never took. The song pays homage to sawmills, farming communities, forestry and mining places around the world and includes various samples and field recordings.
I said in the previous review that the words, which could be about how to take precautions against a nuclear blast for all I know, don’t matter anything like as much as the musical ambience. And that’s particularly true here because the opening 10 seconds or so (the old man section?) could be Regan MacNeill talking backwards in The Exorcist before she twists Burke Dennings’ head until it’s facing the wrong way.
Once the song gets underway though, such unpleasant thoughts quickly evaporate as ‘Drööman’ oozes out of the speakers and overwhelms you with a feeling of serendipity. It is the very essence of calmness and you have to wonder if it might even have pacified the Vikings. The musical equivalent of the hypnotherapist’s couch.
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