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Dark folk artist KATI RÁN – new album SÁLA out now!

Kati Ran Cover240209

Listen to new Kati Rán album HERE 

Dutch artist and Nordic Folk pioneer Kati Rán proudly presents her Dark Folk album SÁLA in full today on May 24th. SÁLA the album is based on the primeval mythological Northern Cosmos and a patronage by its oceanic Nordic deity ‘Rán’, as reinterpreted by the artist and other mythological female characters surrounding its musical journey.

SÁLA is Old Norse for both ‘Sea’ and ‘Soul’, befitting the Northern-themed album shaped after the shrouded Norse Ocean goddess Rán and her ‘nine daughters’. It takes inspirations from different weather conditions and nature phenomena and embraces our most vulnerable emotional sides and psychological states, questions our mind, and expresses any ‘forbidden’ or ‘taboo’ sensitivities and acts as shamanic form of soul-retrieval.

SÁLA explores historical literature and mythological source material from the North, as much as it offers new interpretation and poetic lyrics straight from Kati Rán own gold feathered pen as we journey into the conscious, subconscious, and liminal worlds of the North. Through the act of creating SÁLA and the thirteen tracks it offers, we are given a life raft, or a beacon for all who feel lost or challenged at times by life’s turbulences. As much as the creation and crafting of this album was an alchemic process for the artist herself to turn obstacles in life into newfound sources of power and wisdom, it aims to welcome anyone in need of support to enjoy and explore the depths it has to offer.

To shape the immense and cinematic Nordic soundscape that Kati Rán and Jaani Peuhu have tenaciously crafted together for SÁLA, we hear contributions by a wide array of musical guests and friends of the Nordic Dark Folk genre, the resurrection of extraordinary sounds sourced from Kati‘s travels and recording sessions at varying locations deep in Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Finland and the Netherlands, and a wide range of the artists own vocal expression and instrumental performances.

Ultimately, SÁLA is a homecoming to the existing Nordic Folk genre, as well as a sublime new vision and genre expansion for all lovers of Nordic mythology with its historic and modern sounds, the depth of its skaldic material, heart-pounding drums and its soft and divinely sounding hymns and poetry with which Kati Rán lures our ships to sail further beyond any known horizon of the genre.

Kati comments:

“Well, well, what can I say or write about this auspicious day, where SÁLA has been born. Such a big event, when you have put all your heart and soul and craft into it makes any artist speechless at first. It’s both a strange feeling of relief and sentimental nostalgia, as we release SÁLA today, so that these songs can live their own lives and their meaning have their own interpretation for all the listeners out there, henceforth.

In the last two years I and Jaani Peuhu have tenaciously co-produced, written/re-arranged, recorded and re-recorded, edited, mixed and tweaked some more and laughed and cried daily to bring this album into its final form out today as it’s ‘parents’ of sorts. I think I can speak for both of us and say that we hope it may bring some healing and light for anyone who finds themselves in a dark place, pleasure for anyone who wants to navigate its literary depths, or simply to have fun with it for all who enjoy listening to good new Dark Folk music.

Thank you all. Thanks, Svart Records. And my thanks to Jaani for believing in me and for all the help given while we produced this album together, when before only I believed in it and worked on this alone. It definitely made a difference.” – Kati

Kati Rán’s new album SÁLA is now out on Svart Records.

Kati Rán: SÀLA (Official Visualizer)

Kati Rán: KÓLGA | 16 (Official Lyric Video)

Kati Rán: Stone Pillars (Official Visualizer)

Order new album “SÁLA” via Svart Records webstore:

https://svartrecords.com/en/product/kati-r%C3%A1n-s%C3%81la/12142

Kati RÁn240209
Photo by Ruben Terlouw.

SÁLA features an impressive lineup of diverse musicians who lent their talents to the record, including Gaahl, Napalm Death‘s Mitch Harris, members of Heilung, Sígur Rós, and many others!

Kati Rán is known for her collaborative audio work for Netflix’s tv series ‘VIKINGS: VALHALLA‘, films and work for videogames, her stage appearances with Wardruna, Myrkur and Gaahls Wyrd to name a few, and her previous releases of the successful album; and Nordic dark folk tracks Blodbylgje and Icelandic track Unnr | Mindbeach; that run millions of streams and gathered a tightly knit Nordic folk music loving audience around her.

If the most profound treasures are often the most deeply buried, the journey to uncover them is a vital process of discovery. Five years after the 15-minute single Blodbylgje signaled the birth of a new, more primordial, and immersive vision after the dissolution of her band L.E.A.F., Nordic dark folk artist Kati Rán has expanded on its oceanic theme for her long-awaited full-length album, SÁLA. Embarking on a far-reaching musical and personal travelogue, it’s a reawakening of both the feminine narratives submerged and fragmented within Norse mythology, and the enduring, healing powers held within.

Named after the Old Norse word for ‘soul’ and ‘sea’, SÁLA is an act of ‘soul retrieval’, the shamanic art of trauma recovery, be it illness, death, heartbreak or loss, and the reintegration of a splintered self. Across its 13, wide-ranging, elegantly unfolding tracks, the album is an embodiment of different feminine voices and perspectives – from the Norse nine daughters of the sea, or ‘billow maidens’, through various historical and fictional figures to the late-night voices we hear in our most liminal states – all with tales to tell, riddles to solve, challenges to be accepted and guidance to offer. It’s a multiplicity that, like the ocean itself, belongs to a vast, restless dynamic: a matrix of mysteries, unfathomable depths and ever-shifting currents, accumulating into an elemental, regenerative source of power.

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Photo by Ruben Terlouw.

Recorded in a barn in Húsafell, Iceland – home to glacier ice caves and a rare lava stone marimba rediscovered for the track Stone Pillars – as well as Finland, Norway and at home in Kati’s native Netherlands, SÁLA is as much chronicle of Kati’s own perspective-shifting recording process as it as a pilgrimage through different viewpoints and internal states. That itinerant urge is also reflected in the use of different languages, ranging across Norwegian, Old Norse, Icelandic, and, for the first time, English, her combination of ancient texts, historical reimagining’s and unguarded personal reflection backed up by deep research into the most resonant recesses of Nordic lore.

Spun throughout every thread of SÁLA is a sense of communion – with the power of stories to offer moral guidance and the thrill of the unknown; with the element of water, recreated across the album both in field recordings and the agelessly organic nature of the music itself; with the archetypes whose qualities we are called upon to embody at our most critical moments; and with the internal hidden realms forever whispering at us from the far edges of our consciousness.

Appropriately, it’s a collaborative venture too. As well as working closely together with Finnish producer Jaani Peuhu, there are contributions from across the musical spectrum, including extreme metal vocalist extraordinaire Gaahl, the Icelandic female choir Umbra Ensemble, renowned Norwegian jazz musician  Karl Seglem, Björk and Brian Eno contrabassist Borgar Magnason, members of pagan folk acts Völuspá, Gealdýr, Heilung and Theodor Bastard and even Napalm Death’s Mitch Harris on vocals.

For all the many sources SÁLA draws from, the result is a singular, intimately transformative rite of passage, and a returning of the heart to the reverent continuity of the sacred. It will take you from the opening title track’s chest-pounding rhythmic pulse emerging from a traditional Norwegian bukkehorn (recorded by Karl Seglem), a galloping horse-rider and Kati’s glacial, velveteen chant, through Kólga’s recounting of female persecution through the ages borne on the most gossamer-light yet unbreakable of timbres and Stone Pillar’s gently percolating, deep wells of abandonment and incantations to recovery. SÁLA closes with the track Sátta  – Old Norse for ‘peace’ and ‘reconciliation’ – ending the album as it began with the bukkehorn, as it weaves rich drones and experience-stamped poems and prayers, Kati’s vocals the most sensitively tuned of emotional barometers. An album made in dedication, and in thrall to, its own sense of destiny, SÁLA is, as all quests must ultimately be, a homecoming.

For Fans Of: 

Heilung, Wardruna, Ianai, Gaahls WYRD, Nytt Land

Lineup:
Kati Rán

Special Guests:
Gaahl (Gaahl, Wyrd, Wardruna)
Mitch Harris (Napalm Death)
Jaani Peuhu (Swallow the Sun, IANAI, Lord of the Lost, Hallatar)
Karl Seglem (Norwegian jazz and folk legend)
Borgar Magnason (Björk, Sígur Rós, Brian Eno)
Gealdýr
Emilie Lorentzen (Heilung)
Nicholas Schipper (Heilung)
Yana Veva (Theodor Basterd)
Umbra (Icelandic female choir)
Sól Geirsdóttir, Varg Saastad (Völuspá band)
Marianne Heikkinen, Salla Marja (Saruru,´bunny girl metal´)
Páll Guðmunsson (Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson, Steindór Anderssen, Sígur Rós)

Production: 

Jaani Peuhu, Kati Rán, Christopher Juul

Mastering: 

Jaime Gomez Arrelano

Cover Art: 

Photographer Arne Beck

Illustrator:

Halfdan Skrifa

Graphic design:

Jari Laurén, Charlotte Boer

Deluxe Box Edition with cover painting by Marzena Ablewska-Lech

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25.5.2024 KATI RÀN: SÁLA LP/CD/DIGITAL

01. SÁLA (06:47)

02. HEFRING (04:02)

03. KÓLGA | 16 (06:48)

04. BLODBYLGJE (15:22)

05. DRÖFN | Drifting (02:20)

06. STONE PILLARS (08:15)

07. DÚFA | Sleeping (02:19)

08. UNNR| Mindbeach (09:36)

09. HIMINGLÆVA (04:59)

10. HRÖNN (04:52)

11. BÁRA | Bósi (05:52)

12. SEGIÐ MÉR (03:43)

13. SÁTTA (03:10)

Full running time: 78:00

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