A master of melody, and a poet of prose, Herald K, a Norwegian singer-songwriter and a composer par excellence, is a musical force to be reckoned with.
Herald K is now laying the groundwork for his follow-up album, which he plans to release later in 2019. The album’s five tracks, together titled “Mythologies,” have already started to create excitement among international music sites.
‘Folk Noir’ is how Herald K characterizes his sound. As a tribute to the genre’s enduring allure, his songs and arrangements tend towards classic folk stylings. Lyrics from classic and ancient works often serve as inspiration for him, giving his music an air of magical antiquity.
As the title suggests, “Mythologies” is an in-depth exploration of mythology. There are ten songs in total, and they all deal with some aspect of mythology. A tapestry of music steeped in mythology and the supernatural, with some songs being sung renditions of ancient stories and others imitating a legendary mood or structure.
Five previously released singles are given a fresh lease of life with revamped, polished versions in this compilation. Each track is a musical journey into the realm of myth, retelling classic stories from cultures as diverse as Greece, Rome, Ireland, and beyond.
Herald K’s masterful storytelling brings these stories to life, their universal truths and themes resonating in the music and the lyrics.
More than merely an album, “Mythologies” is an updated take on myths and legends from the past, perfectly harmonised with traditional acoustic instruments. Herald K’s unique selling point as a musical storyteller is his ability to seamlessly blend classic and contemporary sounds.
Herald K’s next album, “Mythologies,” provides an exciting exploration of timeless tales through the prism of his signature Folk Noir style. His compositions have a unique sound that fuses old and new, and they are full of timeless tales.
What kick-started your songwriting journey?
Witnessing Leonard Cohen play here in Vienna some years ago. That evening made me declare to myself: ‘I wanna become a songwriter!’ It took some time after that before I managed to make it happen, but without that experience, it might never have happened!
What’s the most thought-provoking piece you’ve ever written?
Maybe ‘Charon’, which features on my recently released second album. A song all about that ferryman transporting souls across to the underworld.
I present him as a kind of alluring character, which might seem a bit provocative to some. But I guess that song fits well into the old tradition of memento mori in art… It would have been less controversial 200 years ago probably…
Where’s your creative sanctuary?
Our family cabin in the Norwegian mountains. I sometimes go there alone to read and write.
What would you say is your greatest strength as an artist?
Maybe my passion for conveying old and antique ideas to modern listeners. But I don’t see any of that as mine as such anyway. I don’t create those ideas. I just convey.
In fact, such ideas often still resonate nowadays by their own force, because they are timeless and say something true about the human condition. But someone has to present them to new audiences.
It’s something I love doing, but it has obviously been done by many others before, so I don’t claim to have invented something. I just enjoy doing it. It feels energizing to me, and that is a strength I guess.
What is your creative process when making music?
Normally lyrics first, then trying to find a chord sequence that fits the rhythm and mood of the lyric, which again leads to a melody. But I have experimented with music first and lyrics last on occasion.
That leads to more abstract writing for me. My lyric writing tends to begin with a raw kind of brainstorming process where I try to harvest a few lines and ideas and motifs. After that, I try to flesh out full verses that fit into some kind of unity, and later I work more consciously and in a structured way to condense, and improve rhyme and rhythm and so on…
What inspired you to write your latest album/song?
The last album is very much inspired by antique literature and chiefly mythological writing. But I guess I have also been inspired by others that have done similar things, like i.e. Anais Mitchell and her Hadestown project, and Bob Dylan who has some songs that go in that direction.
What are the things you do to help perfect your craft?
Oh. I could mention A LOT of things… But here’s one of the most important: I try to observe other musicians I like. How they act on stage, how they phrase etc.
All of that has been made much more accessible to us over the last few years on the internet. But I also have the chance to go to a lot of local gigs here in Vienna, and I always try to pick up stuff from whoever I see.
Playing sessions with other musicians have also been extremely helpful, as you can receive a lot of valuable advice from others more experienced than you at such events.
What are your plans for extending your music beyond Austria?
Simply start sending out some more international booking emails, and also keep pitching my music to international blogs and radios etc. Keeping up a good social media presence naturally also helps for that purpose, so that is worth putting some work into.
Online I already reach more people and media internationally than I do in Austria. But when it comes to live music, Vienna is still where the majority of my gigs happen, as here is where I’ve got clearly the best network thus far. But I definitely aim to play more international dates over the coming months and years.
What’s the highlight of your career so far?
Publishing my latest album, ‘Mythologies’. It was hard work, and it really felt like a special achievement to complete that record. That project has in turn led to nice gig opportunities such as opening for Freeman Dre (Can) last year and Early James (US) this year.
Herald K is a vessel that conveys the echoes of myths and stories from Norway to Vienna. Don’t miss your chance to join in on this classic musical’s continuing storyline.