Hulda is a solo project or maybe I should rather say it’s an artistic name of Rannvá Helenudóttir. She’s a great Faroese artist, who started a new solo project in less than a year ago, with all her heart, passion and energy. I’ve been waiting for her debut album, keeping my fingers crossed. I absolutely loved the first single – Sorgin, for its charm, atmosphere and faroese language. The other two songs surprised me a bit. To be honest, at that time I was hoping that Hulda will go the way similar to the first production. She didn’t. And today, when I have the whole, complete album in my hands I have to admit that Rannvá made an excellent choice.
HULDAsound consist of eight tracks. Rannvá composed all of them and wrote all the lyrics. But the songs arrangements are the effect of cooperation with Jens L. Thomsen, the great musician of the Faroese band called Orka. The only exception is song Blinded By His Colours which has been written by Hulda together with Dane Mikkel Engell (both, music and lyrics).
But the man who recorded, produced and mixed the whole album was Jens Thomsen. Hulda and Jens were looking for the perfect sound for a long time. They didn’t hurry because they wanted to be 100 % satisfied with their work. When you’ll listen to HULDAsound you’ll see, that the album sounds perfect and they didn’t waste any single hour.
Actually HULDAsound was recorded in two places. I think the most important was Støkumørk studio, in a Faroese village Innan Glyvur, Eysturoy island. The second place was Dartmouth Place studio in London (with some additional records at Landells Road, London). The nature, culture and tradition of Faroe Islands are very important for Hulda, and this is noticeable in her compositions. Besides, when I look at the beautiful landscape around Støkumørk, I just couldn’t imagine that this place would not give even a small piece of it’s magic to the music and didn’t touch the songs recorded out there. But all these Faroese mists, elves and mysteries are not given simply and directly. Rannvá aptly twined in all of that to energetic, electronic music. HULDAsound is a characteristic mix of pop, electronic and alternative music. Sometimes it goes into ambient and right after that fills up your subwoofers with low hard bass or just lets you dance to the hypnotic trance part. Although the album is diversified it also seems to be fully consistent as a whole. All the tracks complete and fill up each other with the sound, tempo and vocal layers. It is all refined in every way, also the cover and album art by Kirstin Helgadóttir. Graphics, colours and even paper/print quality are great and modest at the same time.
There is only one track in Faroese language (Sorgin). All the others Hulda wrote in English. She sings about sorrow, longing, friendship, love. In the background of that emotional struggle you will see a beautiful but sometimes windy, cold and dark Faroese landscape.
There are also a few great guests on HULDAsound. You will hear Guðrið Hansdóttir singing together with Hulda in 4 tracks. There are also other guest vocals recorded by Dan Helgi í Gong, Petur Pólson and Alan Tausen. There is Jens L. Thomsen who played most of the instruments and British LV are playing on Every Drop, Sail On and Sorgin. Their influence on the record is precious, but without doubt, in the foreground you will hear Hulda’s voice, expressive style and charisma.
HULDAsound is a very good debut. There is only one disadvantage of this album that I’ve found. It’s just too short! I’m also happy that Hulda has been appreciated with the nomination to the Faroese Music Awards 2014 in the category of best new artist/band. She really deserved it. And I really hope you will reach for her album with pleasure. You can buy it through the website of Faroese TUTL Records.
1 – Every Drop
2 – Sorgin
3 – Invisible
4 – Blinded by His Colours
5 – Sail On
6 – Stay/Away
7 – Kate
8 – Howling Winds