13. Svaneborg Kardyb: Over Tage

Welcome to window 13. The one that opens up the second half of the Musical Advent. At the time of writing, it seems that the mercury has not risen above the zero degree mark on the thermometer for several days. The streets are white with (depending upon where you are) thick frost or snow. How appropriate then, that we are swathing ourselves in Svaneborg Kardyb’s superb third album, Over Tage. 

Released on Manchester’s Gondwana Records in early November, I described it in my review for Louder Than War as “the soundtrack to Autumn dawn”. I was premature. Here, approaching mid-December, it feels even more suited to the climate.

Svaneborg Kardyb are a Danish duo – Nikolaj Svaneborg (Wurlitzer, Juno, piano) and Jonas Kardyb (drums, percussion), who draw on the folk music of their homeland and fuse it with Scandinavian jazz and an ambient, contemplative minimalism. It’s a vibe like no other. However, don’t be misled by my wintry label or by the fact that the duo are straight out of Aalborg. The music they create feels organic and warming. Associated with the season, yet an antidote to the freezing temperatures. Like mulled wine.

Highlights? Take your pick. I’d call out the album’s sophisticated opener, Op, and the initially sorrowful Farvel. If Svaneborg Kardyb have a trademark, it is the ability to seamlessly glide from shade to light and Farvel is the prime example of that. My personal favourite track, however, is Blik. Undeniably, the album’s poppiest track, it carries an absolute earworm of a melody.

From a technical perspective, Over Tage is an outstanding album. Marvellously composed, skilfully played, the music is undeniably complex and intricate. Yet Svaneborg Kardyb deliver it in such an engaging, comforting way. It is like immersing yourself in a warm bath. And what could be better than that on these long winter nights.       

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