Artist: Maggie Bjorklund
Label: Bloodshot Records
Release Date: 10/14/2014
(Scores are determined by editorial staff)
This pedal steel guitarist/singer/songwriter who hails from Copenhagen, Denmark covers an extraordinarily diverse range of styles of music, mixes them, matches them, blends them into a seamless whole that engulfs the listener. Maggie Bjorklund wrote much of this after losing her mother; though Shaken is an emotional, thought-provoking piece of music, it doesn’t all tend toward the melancholy because there is release from the confining and a redeeming freeing quality to the music.
This is her second album and she has enlisted a slew of interesting top names to help her. Joey Covertino (Calexico) plays drums, Jim Barr (Portishead) plays bass, andJohn Parish (PJ Harvey, Sparklehorse) plays guitars, electric bass, and contributes as a producer. Half of the 11 songs Maggie wrote for Shaken contain vocals, and the instrumentals are no less emotional for not having words. With this disc, she truly demonstrates that instrumental music is a wonderful way to express emotions and feelings that it can be cathartic. Even without words, we understand the emotions she is going through.
This disc is a wonderful introduction to an artist that has not been heard widely in this country and deserves to be. She has a lot to say and an expressive way of saying it. Shaken is a powerful disc that should be heard; she paints beautiful, expressionistic sonic picturs that touch the heart with her music. At times ghostly and at times lyrical, Maggie Bjorklund is always expressive.
– Bob Gottlieb