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World Music CD Reviews Europe


By Paula Kirman
Published March 16, 2007

Nordic Tradition Records 01


Svanevit is traditional Swedish folk music. It’s also ethereal, acoustic, and atmospherically swirly. A four-piece band, Svanevit is named for Sven Svanevit, a figure from a medieval ballad about a shining knight who rides to adventure. They take Nordic songs from the Middle Ages and contemporize the arrangements, without abandoning traditional feel. If the band’s goal is to give new life to old legends, they’ve succeeded. Fortunately, the lyrics are presented in English, making it easy to learn about these tales of Svanevit himself, longing for love, and spirituality. Of course, it also helps that these four troubadours are fine musicians. Their sound is absolutely haunting. No wonder the cover art zooms in on their instruments rather than full-figure portraits. Svanevit performs the kind of music that either draws one in or leaves a listener satisfied after only a few tracks. It’s a nearly perfect choice for Nordic folk enthusiasts.