December sees Norwegian folk music’s commercial flagship heading out on a Japanese tour.
With appearances at countless domestic music festivals over the last two years, Valkyrien Allstars deserve to be named ‘festival act of the year’ – regardless of genre. Last summer saw the folk trio playing more festival gigs than any major domestic pop/rock act, making the hugely successful outfit a commercially flagship of the current ‘new wave’ of Norwegian folk music. At the end of the year, Valkyrien Allstars will have played more than 200 gigs, ranging from major outdoor rock festivals to intimate settings in rural areas. In addition to the band’s success on the live market, last year’s critically acclaimed self-titled album recently sold to gold on the domestic market.
Valkyrien Allstars call themselves a folk/blues/experiential trio of traditional musicians. This entails putting the most epitomic of Norwegian traditional instruments, the Hardanger fiddle, to new uses and infusing the traditional sound and musical structure with a diversity of new elements. Important among these is the unique voice of Tuva Syvertsen. Where traditional Norwegian folk music would emphasise singing reminiscent of a crystalline mountain stream, Syvertsen’s voice is distinctly bluesy and soulful. It has something of Janis Joplin’s coarse-beautiful power, some of pop artist Pink’s vocal pivots, some Norwegian pagan frivolity and a lot of Syvertsen’s own fiery personality. As with the other two members, Ola Hilmen and Erik solid she also plays the Hardanger fiddle though, and Valkyrien is first and foremost a fiddle trio, make no mistake about it.
In addition to the band’s success on the live market, last year’s critically acclaimed self-titled album sold to platinum on the domestic market. Autumn 2009 saw the release of the trio’s second album ‘To Måner’ which has also performed well on domestic sales charts.
In addition to December’s Japanese tour, appearances in Russia and in the US as well as a much-anticipated showcase at the ‘Spotlight on Norway’ event during Showcase Scotland remain high on the band’s agenda.
Valkyrien Allstars has been invited by the Japanese agency Harmony Fields to do a promotion tour in the country. Harmony fields has specialized in Nordic Music and consider Valkyrien Allstars to have great possibilities in succeeding in Japan.