Eleven songs, Forty-three minutes.├é┬á British folk trio present a concept album inspired by the Lofoten Islands of Norway. Rousing sea shanties and haunting ballads beautifully played and sung.
The Kittiwakes comprise three versatile singers and musicians based in the South East of England and their debut album, Lofoten Calling, is that rarest of breeds; a folk concept album. Unlike a lot of concept albums, Lofoten Calling is concise and never feels like the music is being restricted by, or bogged down amidst the themes.├é┬á Instead, the stories being spun here add a poignancy and humanity to the proceedings, and the emotive music (which is set firmly in the traditional style) provides the perfect foil. The concept of the album is based on the people, wildlife, landscape and folklore of the Lofoten Islands, the north western archipelago in arctic Norway. Bathed by the gulf stream waters and the 'Aurora Borealis', they are home to an ancient Viking culture and fishing industry.
A true labour of love, the album was conceived and written by Kate Denny (sings and strings) after a visit to the area, and further research revealed that legendary horror writer Edgar Allen Poe had also found inspiration there (for his short story Descent into the Maelstrom no less). Tales of mystery and imagination indeed. As it turned out, Denny also has a personal connection to the history of the Islands; her Grandfather's ship The Arethusa was part of the first major British action there in WW2. The picture is made complete with the able assistance of Jill Cumberbatch (violin, mandolin, octave mandola, guitar, vocals) and Chris Harrison (piano accordion, piano vocals).
From shanty-inspired rousing tunes, through intricate three-part harmonies and finely arranged, haunting, Winterset-esque songs, Lofoten Calling displays an acute sense of what's at the heart of the British folk tradition and brings it sailing into the 21st century with an honesty and playfulness that is at once enchanting, touching and irresistible.
5. Lofoten Calling
6. Sailor Song
7. Ole Petter
8. Rowan, Birch and Cloudberry
10. Midsummer, Midwinter
11. The Arethusa
Total Running Time: 43 minutes
Stuff People Said
"Absolutely wonderful. I cannot recommend highly enough catching them live if you get the chance" - Folk and Roots online
"The Kittiwakes (Rissa Ttridactyla): delicious, intriguing and evocative music, beautifully played and sung by this talented trio. Recommended to twitchers and lovers of folk music alike" - Paul Collier, Leigh Folk Festival
"A wonderfully bright and highly original debut." - BBC Music Online
"Lofoten Calling" is a salty collection of Sea-based folk songs, mixing ballads and shanties into a potent and haunting collection. Playing Accordion, mandolin, and violin, all topped off with the drop dead gorgeous voice of Kate Denny, these songs are enchanting and timeless, the breaking surf only an echo away" - Terrascope
"Wonderfully formed, earthy and beautiful album." - Musique Machine
"The Kittiwakes... play a wonderful suffusion of English, Celtic and Norwegian folk music. "Lofoten Calling", a homage to the Lofoten islands, a region just above the Arctic circle in Norway, is a glorious piece of music...The combination of accordion, violins, mandolins and strong, powerful vocals is truly magical! Highly recommended." - The Icarus Club