Hymnambulae – Nausikaa

[Reviewed by stark]

On the occasion of the second album by Hymnambulae, Pär and Asa Boström have reached to the old Swedish radio archives in order to use the works of Swedish poet Gunnar Ekelöf. Eventually, this very fragile album has emerged, where faint beauty mingle with quiet dolour.

The mix of ambient and spoken or sung poetry seems like a natural fusion, but when you think of it deeper, there are not so many good releases of such character. Troum/Martyn Bates masterpiece obviously is the first one that comes to my mind, but to find another I’d have to exert my brain cells. The Swedish poet’s voice is like made for such music. It’s tired as if recording his poems is the last thing he does before going to sleep. Perhaps eternal. There was this movie, Scandinavian classic, called “Sult”, which means “Hunger”. It was about a starving poet (extraordinary role by Per Oscarsson) struggling to survive in the late XIX century Christiania. I don’t know Gunnar Ekelöf’s biography, have no idea how his life was, but when I heard him reading his own texts, immediately I had this image of this poor artist from “Sult” before my eyes.

The Boström siblings music composes with the poet’s voice… simply as it should compose. It’s sad and melancholic, but without the unnecessary, overreacted drama. Can’t imagine playing it anywhere else than at home, it’s too intimate to experience it with other people, at some live show or something. Just the tunes to play on the rainy autumn afternoon or evening.

Hypnagoga Press, hypna05
CD/MC/LP/Digital 2019

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