Described as a collaboration between Leonard Cohen and John Cale, Herald K is a singer-songwriter from Norway with uniqueness beyond imagination. Poetic and elegant his music easily captures your heart and ensnares your senses, at least that’s what we think. Releasing his debut album in 2019, Herald K has been making waves in the music industry featuring on Less Than 1000 Followers, Sinusoidal Music and many others. The latest addition to his critically acclaimed discography is the single ‘Arethusa’.
The first release since his album Strange Delights in 2019, ‘Arethusa’ adopts a cinematic and eclectic folk style. Yet, while the track could be considered a form of folk, its eclecticism makes it difficult to define. Soft, soothing and laidback, the single can leave you feeling extremely calm; however, there is a darker side to the single – we’ll get to that. What I find intriguing about ‘Arethusa’ is the combination of various, obscure instrumentation. While there is a traditional acoustic guitar, Stephan Steiner plays the Nyckelharpa (a traditional Swedish instrument) bringing a diverse splash of colour to the kaleidoscopic soundscape.
Now to the darker side of the track. As a writer of novels and poems, Herald K looks to incorporate significant themes in his work. In ‘Arethusa’, he looks at issues of temptation and transformation through the Greek myth of Arethusa. Herald K explains that the track is “an ancient myth of a river god’s infatuation with a water nymph. A song about yin and yang, temptation and transformation…” Personally, I find the use of female vocals alongside Herald K’s male vocals an interesting representation of the nymph Arethusa.
Overall, I quite enjoyed this track. It has a darkness belying the laidback tone which highlights Herald K’s artistry. I look forward to his upcoming album Mythologies.