Nordic Folk Group Vevaki Takes Old Icelandic Poetry To Heart For “Gestaþáttr”

[Cover photo credit to Bylgja Guðjónsdóttir Thorlacius]

Dark Neo-Folk collective VÉVAKI will be releasing their sophomore full-length album Fórnspeki, on October 28, 2022 via Season of Mist, which is also the band’s label debut. The Nordic Folk outfit have also revealed the single, “Gestaþáttr“.

The collective was originally a solo project by singer and multi-instrumentalist Will Hunter, and is now a group that “draws from Nordic heathenism and animistic traditions”. Myth, ritual and a connection with the natural world inform their music, which is “both contemporary in sound and wide-ranging in instrumentation”.

VÉVAKI comment on the song:

Gestaþáttr’ is the first part of the poem ‘Hávamál’ (the sayings of Hár) which covers how to be a good guest and a good host, as well as containing many other mysterious verses of gnomic wisdom. Since this song is based in Eddic poetry, we decided to do a lyric video so you could see the old Icelandic and English translations side by side.

VÉVAKI’s second album, Fórnspeki finds the band expanding upon their sound while staying true to their Folk roots and traditions.  Sigurboði Grétarsson has joined VÉVAKI as a full-time member, as have Gísli Gunnarsson and Hrafnhildur Inga Guðjónsdóttir. The new material, is says Will Hunter, “broader and more mature sounding”.

He notes:

VÉVAKI is very much based in our modern heathen tradition. Sigurboði and I had been playing music for a while and we have used music as part of our personal spiritual practise. We had worked on some songs together but they were very much personal. Then we had a jam session in this cave in Iceland and afterwards we tried to record a song. I asked if Sigurboði would feature on it and he said yes, thankfully. Then I went home and used my home recording equipment to do a song which we sent to Danheim (Danish folk musician) and he put me on his online record label. And that’s how VÉVAKI started. We did a full album from there. Sigurboði featured heavily on it, even though he wasn’t in the band in any official capacity. But he did lots of drums and vocals and stuff like that.

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