Country : Sweden Label : Cumbancha Genres and styles : Folk Pop / Neo-Trad Year : 2022

Kolonien – Till Skogen

· by Frédéric Cardin

I recently told you about the Swedish folk-pop quartet Kolonien because I had the chance to see them live on a very small, and frankly adorable, street corner stage (in this case Duluth East) in Montreal. It was last Sunday. We heard most of the songs from their most recent album on the Cumbancha label, Till Skogen (which means To the forest, as in a tribute to…). The album was released last April, way under (as in very under) the usual media radar. At least those on our side of the big lake. They are usually too busy talking about the same 10 or 15 “A” category artists (i.e., already well known). That’s where Pan M 360 takes over! Well, OK, a little late this time, I admit. In the case of the “others”, the excuse is lame (they’re not interested), in our case it’s more understandable (we’re interested, but) : we’re few and we don’t have enough time to cover the thousands (literally) of monthly (if not weekly!) releases in the music world. In short, we missed it. Mea culpa.

So here’s why I’m coming back to it now, because after their exciting (and quite impromptu, read the details in my comment) performance last Sunday, I had to tell you about it.


Till Skogen is Kolonien’s fourth opus and the band’s direct, immediately accessible style will make you want to go and listen to the previous ones, which are of the same ilk. We’re talking about melodic lines that fly over and stick closely to the catchy pop-folk rhythms (notwithstanding a few ballads). In counterpoint, Ana Möller’s violin, with its obviously well-studied technical quality, but with a wiggle well wrapped in local folklore. This one will, it must be said, have Celtic resonance to ears that are new to this kind of repertoire. This is perhaps due to the fact that it is not strictly folklore, but rather good pop inspired by traditional music in a context of open modernity, hence certain possible aesthetic crossings. Not to mention, of course, the initial and quite logical similarities, as the two cultures have been living side by side for thousands of years.

Here is music focused on a proud Nordic culture but certainly permeable to influences from elsewhere, eager to meet the rest of the world and not to lock itself in a soothing nostalgia that can turn into self-satisfaction or, worse, identity withdrawal.

Ah, and that fabulous Swedish language that rolls and bounces on the tongue and lips like a mischievous superball! Irresistible.

In Montreal (and a little earlier in Ottawa and Sherbrooke), there were four of them. Of course, in these times, it’s better to travel light. But on the album, the bill is fleshed out with Hammond, accordion, trumpet, clarinet, saxophone, and a choir!

Do yourself a favour: stick the smiling tunes of these ultra-gentle Vikings on your ears.

Latest 360 Content

At Annie-Claude Deschênes’ table: between utensils & sound experimentation

At Annie-Claude Deschênes’ table: between utensils & sound experimentation

Noah Kahan: An Emotive Performance with Goofy Banter

Noah Kahan: An Emotive Performance with Goofy Banter

Université de Montréal | Jean-François Rivest’s Grandiose Farewell

Université de Montréal | Jean-François Rivest’s Grandiose Farewell

OSL | Naomi Woo | Musique du Nouveau Monde

OSL | Naomi Woo | Musique du Nouveau Monde

Anderson & Roe, piano duo great innovators

Anderson & Roe, piano duo great innovators

Nadia Labrie – Flute Passion – Claude Bolling : Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio

Nadia Labrie – Flute Passion – Claude Bolling : Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio

David Jalbert – Prokofiev : Piano Sonatas vol. II

David Jalbert – Prokofiev : Piano Sonatas vol. II

HOMESHAKE – CD Wallet

HOMESHAKE – CD Wallet

Hawa B or not Hawa B ? “sadder but better” EP answers the question !

Hawa B or not Hawa B ? “sadder but better” EP answers the question !

Willows and Soleil Launière: A post-eclipse luminous evening

Willows and Soleil Launière: A post-eclipse luminous evening

Kevin Johansen – Quiero Mejor

Kevin Johansen – Quiero Mejor

Shades of Bowie, composed for the man behind Blackstar

Shades of Bowie, composed for the man behind Blackstar

Bahar Harandi’s feminist Iran

Bahar Harandi’s feminist Iran

Sunglaciers – Regular Nature

Sunglaciers – Regular Nature

Canicule – BOYZ

Canicule – BOYZ

David Jacques – 16 histoires de guitares III

David Jacques – 16 histoires de guitares III

Abel Selaocoe: the wind that blows away

Abel Selaocoe: the wind that blows away

Single of The Day – “everyday it rains” – Sea Shapes

Single of The Day – “everyday it rains” – Sea Shapes

Tolemn – Jango

Tolemn – Jango

Single of the Day – “OVEROVEROVER” – OH, BERLIN

Single of the Day – “OVEROVEROVER” – OH, BERLIN

Beyoncé – Cowboy Carter

Beyoncé – Cowboy Carter

Orkestar Kriminal – Originali

Orkestar Kriminal – Originali

Simon Denizart – Piece of Mind

Simon Denizart – Piece of Mind

Jean Jean Roosevelt – Libres ensemble

Jean Jean Roosevelt – Libres ensemble

Subscribe to our newsletter