The Kittiwakes: Lofoten Calling

Lofoten Calling is a rich album of folklore and myth inspired by the Lofoten Islands above the Arctic Circle in Norway.

The Kittiwakes are a highly talented trio of musicians comprising of Kate Denny: vocals, violin, Jill Cumberbatch: violin, mandolin, octave mandola, guitar, vocals and Chris Harrison: piano, accordion, piano and vocals.

The title track however sees the Kittiwakes setting their instruments aside for a sublime and powerful harmonic performance. The mixture of solo vocals and beautiful and mesmerising harmonies paint a mystical picture of bleak haunting landscapes complete with soaring eagles and distant whale-song.

The album opens with Maelstrom, an accordion lead shanty based around local folklore and Edgar Allen Poe’s “A Decent Into the Maelstrom”. Denny’s captivating vocals create a power musical meme that is frequently stuck in my brain.

Perhaps my favourite track from the album is “Lynx”. It’s opening fiddling riff gives way to an elegant acoustic guitar and the tale of the Lynx searching for the path down to the salt salt sea. As the Lynx eventually finds the shore and places his paw in the sea the song fades with a beautiful piano outro. An interesting album footnote explains how the Norse name for the islands comes from their shape resembling a lynx footprint.

A wonderful, beautiful debut combing Nordic and British folk influences.