Amalie Bruun’s work as Myrkur has, until very recently, involved a more folk-infused take on black metal, a genre that her native Denmark knows all too well. Enter this year’s Folkesange, which was featured on our Black Metal Round-Up, and much of the heavy instrumentation one would associate with black metal was stripped back, instead favoring a dramatic, cinematic album full of soaring vocal melodies, acoustic arrangements, and haunting piano parts.
One cut that was left off of Folkesange, though recorded in the sessions for that album, was “Droning Ellisiv,” which has now been released in time for the solstice and the holiday season. This song, much like the bulk of those on the aforementioned record, favor a more dramatic yet stripped-back composition, with stringed instruments creating the wintry backdrop for Bruun’s incredible voice to sing over. As pretty as the song is, there is a chilling edge to it all, a dark unease even in the crisp snow of the vast white landscapes this song paints for the listener’s imagination.
Sure enough, the story behind this song is one of an old Nordic folk tale, as explained by the band:
The single, a reimagining of a song by the great Harald Foss, tells the tale of the Grand Prince Yaroslav of Novgorod and his daughter Elisiv of Kiev. Elisiv would later marry King Harald of Norway and become Queen Consort of Norway in the 1040's. Immersive and ethereal, the mood of “Dronning Ellisiv” dives into the source material and continues to evoke the sounds of expansive folk music, breathing new life into an old Nordic tale. Nostalgic and timeless, “Dronning Ellisiv” continues to usher in a new era for Bruun and MYRKUR.
Take in the grand and gorgeous “Droning Ellisiv” below, and purchase the single here: