HedningarnaHedningarna Origins: Sweden


Neo-folk, acid folk
Discography: 2012 – &
2003 – Hedningarna (greatest hits)
1999 – Karelia Visa
1997 – Hippjokk
1994 – Tra
1992 – Kaksi!
Web Site: hedningarna.net/
www.silence.se/hedningarna (no longer updated)
The gods of Swedish music. Gods? Yes, Gods. The Swedes do things different – just look at the Saab. And Hedningarna does folk music like no one does folk music. Hedningarna is Swedish for “The Heathens,” standing for the group’s radical reinterpretation of Scandinavian folk music. They play traditional instruments – lutes, fiddles, mandoras, flutes, accordions … Except, they are all plugged into amplifiers. This is not the milquetoast soporific music of white bread folk festivals. This is energy that taps into the primordial intensity of the Nordic people.

Hedningarna has always prided themselves on moving borders and renewing Swedish folk music. Formed in 1987 by Hållbus Totte Mattsson, Björn Tollin, and Anders Norrudde, they released four albums between 1992 to 1999. Mattsson and Norrudde are the only remaining original members of the group–seven other musicians have at one time played with the band. The group still gives occasional performances in Europe. They were very popular in Sweden in the 1990s and their music spread slowly across the globe, reaching the United States thanks to North Side Records in 1999 who released Kaksi!. Six Degrees Records soon followed, releasing Tra and Hippjokk the same year.

The tone of Hedningarna’s music ranges from playful jigs to dark and sinister ambience. They use little or no electronics but their native instruments produces an amazing intensity of sound almost impossible to believe it comes from only three musicians. Much of their music evokes the primal forces of nature, especially the album Tra the Swedish word for “fire.” Though not danceable music in the usual sense their songs are energetic and moving.

The group do not release any new songs for 13 years until the album & in 2012. A hard-edged romp worthy of their name, the album & shows that artists do not have to mellow with age.



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