The Wyrd Sounds Of January

There was a point last year where I thought I’d probably never be able to listen to music again. It was the bleakest of times. So I made up for it in January and listened to as much as I could. I’d say I listened to more music in that month than I listened to during the entirety of 2020. It was a glorious 31 days of me going ‘ha, fuck you‘ to depression.

In this post, you’ll find the music that excited, moved and motivated me the most. You’ll find bands I’ve been infatuated with for years, as well as projects I’ve only just happily happened upon. I hope there’s something here that you’ll listen to, love, and keep returning to for the rest of your days.

*Click of the album art to go straight to where it lives.

The Wyrd Sounds Of January

The album Morkinsálmar from Icelandic Dark Dungeon Music project Dyfliza was one of the best things about January. I’m listening to the first track Drungvon as I write this, and can feel the hairs on the back of my neck lift, yet I’m simultaneously becoming so very, very calm. The album itself is sparse, haunting and inexplicably beautiful.
I used to listen to Garmarna (one of the best and most eclectic bands to come out of Sweden, in my opinion) all the time, but I lost their trail a few years back. It was so good to hear them again, and I delighted in Förbundet. I’ve listened to it twice, but feel as though there’s still so much it has to give me.
I became quite emotional when I listened to this By Norse Music compilation, particularly when I listened to the first track, Voluspa by Einar Selvik. It made me think of Norway. It made me think of the forests and mountains in the West Fjords of the country, and how I miss them. It made me upset that I wasn’t there. Kalandra’s cover of Wardruna’s Helgvelen is stunning.
A extraordinary, powerful, passionate album that shifts my soul in a different way whenever I listen to it anew. If you listen to it, do so with an open mind and heart.
The darkest of dark ambient. I worship at the alter of Aghast.
The debut EP from neofolk project Ebon Lore comes in at a slight 17 minutes, but oh, those 17 minutes are something precious. The figure behind Ebon Lore is also responsible for Lustre, one of Sweden’s foremost Atmospheric Black Metal projects.
Some extremely good Dungeon Synth from Sweden. Örnatorpet have a sizable back catalogue which is very worth exploring.
I’m very careful with using the word ‘masterpiece’ but when it comes to Graveforests And Their Shadows, I will scream it from the top of my lungs. This is Atmospheric Black Metal at its very best. If you don’t have time for the full album, or want to just ‘taste a bit first,’ I recommend listening to the second track Motherland Ostenvegr.
I don’t know how many times I’ve returned to Aftonklang since it’s release in 2018. It’s sublime. The emotions that rise up when I listen to it…I just surrender to them. You shouldn’t really do anything when you put this album on. Just listen.
I’m going to do it. I’m going to do it again. I’m going to use the word ‘masterpiece’ for a second time. I encountered the music of John Luther Adams just last week, but he’s taken me to the Arctic several times already.

Music That I Wrote To During January

I thought it would be a good idea to share what I had on a lot of the time when I was scratching away in my notebook and stabbing away at my laptop. It might be that you’re a writer who’s stumped for ideas as to what you can put on in the background while you’re writing, and still maintain concentration. I believe my concentration actually improves when I have one of these going in the background. Morkinsálmar, the first album I talked about in this post, is also excellent to write to.

2 thoughts on “The Wyrd Sounds Of January”

  1. Thank you! for sharing not only the music but also ways to access them. I know when I have clicked on a music link, one by one in the posts, I’ve enjoyed what I got to hear. The seasonal sounds as well. Music has such influence, and I appreciate when I have a guide.

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