Dalarna, Sweden/York, UK based dark folk/post-rock band Helga has launched the second single and music video »Burden« taken from their debut album, »Wrapped In Mist«, set to release on November 24th, 2023 via Season Of Mist.
01. Skogen mumlar
04. If Death Comes Now
06. Alive Again
07. Vast And Wild
08. Som en trumma
09. Mountain Song
10. Wrapped In Mist
Courtesy of Season Of Mist:
A vast exploration of sonic textures present themselves on Helga’s premier album »Wrapped In Mist«, as chugging riffs, spectral strings and imposing drums converge into one.
The second single, »Burden«, recounts a tale of relinquishment and its complexity – introspective and intricate musical passages culminate in a reassuring mélange of emotions, as Helga recognizes having finally found her place in this world.
“The first track written for the album, »Burden« was inspired by the pain of leaving my home in the Dalarna woods and the hope that comes with new connections and relationships,” says vocalist Helga Gabriel.
»Wrapped In Mist« comes out November 24.
Video by Guilherme Henriques.
Guitars and vocals recorded by Tom Peters at Trapdoor Studios.
Drums recorded by Bob Cooper at Chairworks Studios.
Produced and mixed by Luiz Felipe Netto.
Mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege.
Photos by Ester Segarra
Once, sequestered away in the far reaches of Swedish hinterland, a shrouded girl wandered alone through interminable forest. Chanting psalms amidst birch and pine, her choral voice drifted like birds through an evening mist. The chapel choir she sang with had gifted and honed her voice, but woodland and lake would always be her church. Her name – Helga.
Alas, despite her reverence for fjäll and forest, a beckoning had begun to stir deep within Helga’s heart. A longing, yearning to be heard and to share the majesty of song. Gathering books and belongings, Helga bid farewell and emerged from the wilderness that had nurtured her since she was a child.
“Singing in small local bands I’d experimented with songs in both English and Swedish, but sometimes English just felt misplaced, you know? Like a betrayal of where the song is coming from, where I am from. I love languages, exploring the meaning of that which I don’t know.” – Helga
Journeying west in 2019, Helga settled across the North Sea in the old Viking town of York, North Yorkshire. Surrounded by pub-filled streets of cobblestone and restored Roman walls, York was host to droves of camera-laden tourists and scholars of two thriving universities.
These strange anachronistic surroundings would pave the foundation for a myriad of rueful reflections and musings, a far cry to the world Helga had left behind.
Previously, Helga had joined forces with Icons Creating Evil Art and released two solo EPs, »Nebulous« (2018) and »The Autumn Lament« (2019). Inviting tribal drums, ominous strings and throat singing in accompaniment on songs such as »Mörker« and »Haunted«, it was evident that her artistic transition was compelled to darker pursuits.
Meanwhile… Not far away, three childhood friends (Cai, Cameron and Ryan) stared across a table at one another spellbound. Playing together in various bands, such as People as Places as People, since 2009, they knew they had found something special.
“One day Cameron stumbled upon Helga’s advertisement saying she was looking to put a band together. As soon as we heard that ethereal voice, we knew we had to move mountains to somehow be a part of this project.” – Cai
Following several brief stints with different drummers, the band soon found its final element in the form of precocious poly-instrumentalist, Sami Javed. Teaming up with producer Luiz Felipe Netto, the quintet was complete. The rest – as they say – was history. Helga was born.
Summoning a plethora of layers and genre, Helga culminated their premier album »Wrapped In Mist« into dirgeful lamentations of mortality and mental health, punctuated by formidable drums, spectral strings and chugging riffs.
The album’s opening track, »Skogen Mumlar« (The Forest Murmurs), transcends forthwith into emotive dreamscapes that leave hairs trembling on goose-pimpled skin. Ennio Morricone echoing as the intro’s muse.
“We draw on many different influences, from Swedish folk to progressive metal, post-rock to black metal to pop. Distilling this into a single genre is a challenge.” – Cai
But as the journey through »Wrapped In Mist« transpires, songs such as »Farväl« (Farewell) reveal Helga’s black metal and darker sensibilities. Bewitching through this myriad range, the album’s waltzing coda flirts with a melodic baroque that crescendos with Opeth-esque climax.
The inception of »Wrapped In Mist« promises to plunge Helga deep into the spotlight of mesmerizing live performances following release. From the hills and forests of rural dwelling, this is a band destined for a future worth following.
Helga Gabriel – Vocals
Cai Sumption – Guitar
Cameron Gledhill – Guitar
Ryan Fairclough – Bass
Sami Javed – Drums
Additional musicians on »Skogen mumlar«:
Damian Bolotin – Violin
Ayran Nicodemo – Violin
Joe Zeitlin – Cello
Bruno Migliari – Double Bass
Mafram do Maracanã – Percussion