Kim Myhr – “Bloom”

Released on the Hubro label – I was going in blind to this album, having been mailed it. I had no idea what to expect. Having only heard 2014’s critically acclaimed “All Your Limbs Sing” (Sofa) briefly – I was expecting twelve string loveliness. The opening track (embedded below) “Sort sol” is an abrasive electric guitar; I was intrigued.

In recent years Myhr has been one of the leading voices in the Norwegian experimental scene as both a composer and a guitarist. Taking his music in a new electronic direction – on the surface “Bloom” is quite different from its predecessor: there’s lots of overdubs, electric guitars, electronics (although there are some acoustic guitars too).

I have heard the album being described as a ‘generous’ album. Generosity is maybe a keyword; both in the album’s sound, the composition process, as well as in the sources of inspiration it drew from. Having been influenced a lot by Ram Narayan & Milton Nascimento – I can get a psych-folk influence on the electric guitars – almost Trees Community but without the Gospel. And, then, in the lurch of an overdrive pedal – we are listening to Krautrock-Ambient.

An overwhelming album with a staggering number of influences and new directions.

Myhr’s last solo album was recorded in a two day long session – having been composed in the years before hand. Bloom, on the other-hand is a proper studio album. I found a quote online: “My acoustic 12-string guitar music is often physically demanding to play, and I wanted to work with sound in a different way. So on “Bloom” the richness of texture comes from the recording process, and treatments of various electronic and acoustic sounds. It’s a studio construction, but it’s still a natural continuation of the music, I think.” – Kim Myhr

Bloom is a rare beast in that the music is mainly not about the playing technique but the processes that alter the sound – it could be seen, romantically, as a young man stepping out in to the wide world for the first time, ready to make an impression.

“Bloom” is an adventurous and generous sounding new landmark recording from Kim Myhr. The album is being released as a CD, DL and a LP.

You can purchase the album here or listen to an extract of it here.

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