Today MYRKUR unfolds the next chapter in her personal mythology of Amalie Bruun, setting a new course for the enigmatic composer, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist. Marked by the birth of her child, and a means of making sense of the storm of emotions in that wake, her forthcoming album Spine charts a new course for Bruun through the most turbulent period of her life to new territories beyond, free from genre constraints, and giving rise to a new range of emotional and sonic contours.
This time around, Myrkur reunited with producer Randall Dunn in Sigur Rós’s Icelandic Sundlaugin studio to negotiate the contrast between the deepest human connection of mother and child, and an increasingly disconnected, alienating world, from pandemic restrictions and isolation to the rise of Artificial Intelligence. But if the claustrophobia of lockdown made an impact on the album, musically it’s Myrkur’s most open yet – Bruun’s pristine clear vocals a hyper-sensitive barometer, finely tuned to states where bliss, anxiety, grief, intimacy and psychic wanderlust co-exist, weaving wide-ranging traces of her musical background into rapt and tantalising new forms.
Spine’s lead single, “Like Humans’”, available today, is a blend of lush, airy textures and apprehension-inducing, pounding undertow, where Bruun’s voice floats over the top as if from another dimension. Amalie reveals, “When I wrote Like Humans I felt very disconnected and isolated from the human race. The lack of touch and being in the first few years of motherhood forced me to become human in a way I never thought I would. Going through all of these changes at once made me desperately want to feel a connection with the earth and humans. Writing and recording this album helped me heal and succeed with that dream.”
Spine is a title with a host of potent connotations: growth, strength, defiance, a core of our being, and flexibility. It’s what holds a human up, and allows us to rebuild. It’s an album that encompasses all these traits – an act of rebirth that balances our most euphoric and our darkest moments.
Spine sees its release October 20 via Relapse Records on CD, Vinyl, and across all digital retailers worldwide. For more details on variants and deluxe edition pressings, including a baby pink version for the “Ten Bands, One Cause” Breast Cancer Awareness Month campaign, go here.
1 – Balfaerd
2 – Like Humans
3 – Mothlike
4 – My Blood Is Gold
5 – Spine
6 – Valkyriernes Sang
7 – Blazing Sky
8 – Devil in the detail
9 – Menneskebarn
The most personal of artistic journeys rarely take a predictable path. Over the course of three studio albums, two EPs and a theatrical score under the Myrkur banner, Bruun has been willing to both pick apart genre conventions and delve deep into the heart of them, remapping her Danish folk roots and black metal onto the most dynamic of internal terrain.
Where 2015’s acclaimed debut M and 2017’s nightmare-induced Mareridt albums bolstered black metal with emotional currents that were by turns rapt and harrowing, steeped in tradition but enflamed into coruscating acts of deliverance, 2020’s Folkesange found refuge in the durability and archetypal storytelling of Scandic folk, blending songs ancient and new into a tapestry that bound the individual and the universal, once again reaching into elemental forces to invoke something resonant and unbound. But if there is solace to be found in continuity, Myrkur has often been equally tuned to the forces of upheaval, the ever-shifting nature of Amalie’s music and ongoing dialogue between the two. In art, as in life, there are rubicons to be crossed, new chapters to navigate and sensations to explore, and the act of self-examination that makes sense of it all is, by its nature, also one of reinvention.