Quote (Freely translated from Swedish):

“Deep and many layered folk rock delivered by singer Björn Gardner, stepping up to take a place as a central participant on the Swedish folk music scene. The album is in essence a pandemic influenced project, which in some ways is hard to believe, fusing overdubs by correspondence through a prolonged creative process. Finally it emerged a winding psychedelic adventure flying us through Brittish folk revival, traditional folk song, medieval balladry and contemporary folk rock with fellow musicians such as Moussa Fadera (The Amazing), Mikael Marin (Väsen) and folk harmonica player Erland Westerström.”


#Tresultnamågar #Björngardner #recension #review #Folkrock #Lira

#Tresultnamågar #Björngardner #recension #review #Folkrock #Lira


Tre Sultna Mågar i Lira Musikmagasin/

(Freely) translated:

“The opening track Om berg och dalar has the same slightly psychedelic qualities as Dungen in their greatest moments. Swedish folk, shifting in organic phase realignment, simply awesome! Thus begins this pandemic premised album, being conceived as early as 2020, at the moment when the world suddenly changed. Fittingly the world starts to change ever so slightly when listening to Tre sultna mågar. The further we delve into the album, the transformative properties of this music pop up like mushrooms from the soil of folk tradition. Träd, gräs och stenar in the Gardner of delights…

The drone resounds through Björn Gardners wild garden of folk, leaving me astounded.

I haven´t been this surprised by an album in a long time. Not since last week, or maybe the week before , or the week before, or..

Björn Gardner has stated the music is based on Swedish and Norwegian traditional singing. He mentions Ingebjørg Liestøl from Åseral and Lena Larsson from Bohuslän as strong inspirations making this strong, Nordic timbre, home fermented folk rock album, landing in between Falun (Swedish region with strong folk traditions), the Urkult Festival, Koloni GBG, Stallet Folk Club and Bar Brooklyn.

Though the song The Three Suitors – with vocals shifting from English to Swedish without it getting obekvämt, sounds like both British folk and Mark Kozelek, at one and the same Samla Mammas Manna.

A primal force flows through the entire album. It never goes the safest route. Its roots in a project at The Swedish Royal College of Music are irrelevant, this music simply exists, communicates.

Alongside on this trip Gardner brings guests such as folk harmonica player Erland Westerström (Västanvinden), Moussa Fadera (The Amazing), Mikael Marin (Väsen) and Sofia Sandén (Ranarim).

Their contributions seem to somehow have cellared rapidly for at the first taste, the music excels in maturity in a way that seems timeless. The fact the musicians worked by correspondence is hardly noticeable. The music is authentic, here and now, then and after.”

#tresultnamågar #gardner #folkrock #Lira #recension #review

#Tresultnamågar #Björngardner #recension #review #Folkrock #Lira


Dancing the depths with Gardner

On his new album Tre Sultna Mågar, Björn Gardner dives into the depths of Nordic folk tradition, linking it to psychedelic rock. Beckoning tones from the abyss, conceived during the pandemic in a state of existential alienation.

Text: Erik Augustin Palm ( freely translated by @bjorngardner.com)

Even during the process of his previous work – the English language folk rock album– Björn Gardner sings Ballads and Lullabies in 2018 – the 43-year-old Swedish British folk musician and singer-songwriter was delving into Nordic singing traditions.

In part due to forming new perspectives on these traditions within the context of his own tonal language, and additionally; pursuing the idea of an artistic sibling to Ballads and Lullabies, based on Swedish and Norwegian songs.

The album title Tre Sultna Mågar is a common phrase in Swedish lullabies, Gardner explains.

– The song The Three Suitors is a translation; a mashup of Kråka satt på ladutak and phrases from Swedish lullabies, translated into English. To me this is the same process as songwriting. The material is traditional, but the meaning of the song is recreated in my own mind.

BJÖRN GARDNER WAS BORN in London, and raised in Sweden, in a cultural context permeated with 60´s folk singers such as Joan Baez and Bob Dylan.

– Well, my parents were not exactly “folkies” brandishing tin mugs carried in their belts, but they did write political songs and sing the repertoire of the ´60s folk singers. So, that and folk rock was traditional music to me initially.

Only later did I delve into field recordings and contemporary folk.

Parenthood is a central theme on Tre Sultna Mågar. Gardner calls it ” the single most important experience of my life, thus far.”

– Human beings are born helpless and remain helpless for so many years.

Our biological existence depends solely on the one thing: Being accepted into an intimate relationship. It´s a perspective rooted in psychodynamic tradition and evolutionary biology, with a huge untapped political potential.

Also, becoming a parent, reflecting on your own childhood may improve your writing.

A SIGNIFICANT PART of Tre Sultna Mågar was created during the pandemic through its worst phase in Sweden – and personally for Björn Gardner. He is disappointed in the Swedish handling of the Coronavirus, adding to this, his partner suffered extensive post-Covid.

Dårefjäll, The Three Suitors and Österlida constitute a small suite on this subject.

The term Dårefjäll, to me – is the “other side” described by Swedish author Kerstin Ekman in her essay on the ballad of Sir Olof and the faeries. In the context of the album the suite is a place of existential alienation, an aspect of this was my disbelief over the extensive defensive nationalism that took form in Sweden.

Björn Gardner’s partner has since made significant recovery, and he is for his part excited to play his new material, starting in August. The instrumentation on the album is rich and vibrant, with contributing musicians such as Mikael Marin (of vastly influential folk group Väsen) on viola and Sofia Sandén (of Ranarim) on vocals.

Both were Gardner´s teachers during his time at The Royal College of Music in Stockholm.

– Mikael sketched his own parts and let me edit and juxtapose them. The other musicians are a loose framework, some of my favourite musicians, such as the harmonica player Erland Westerström. But the most important collaborating partner on this album and in recent years is producer and bass player Thomas Jansson.

This is in essence an album of the pandemic, all is done through overdubbing on strict arrangements, building around my guitar and vocal. Mostly on my own, or in small sessions with single musicians.

Yet, Tre Sultna Mågar sounds full bodied, and ensemble oriented in its rhythmic interplay – with Gardners unmistakable vocal timbre as it´s guiding star; powerful, dark, bright and vulnerable, transforming along the way.

Parallels can be drawn to the psychedelic prog and folk-rock of Dungen ,

A comparison welcomed by Gardner.

– Reine Fiske of Dungen is one of my idols, I made his aquaintance in my twenties.

I recorded neo prog-ish demos and busked on the streets, around the corner from record store Mellotronen (transl. The Mellotron) in Stockholm´s Old Town, it was the hub of a Swedish neo prog scene around the 2000´s and Reine Fiske was part of that.

I was very surprised when I heard Dungen, my demos tread similar paths of psychedelic and prog-era nostalgia, with Swedish lyrics. And traces of those songs resurfaced later through my musicianship.

Facts: Björn Gardner

Born in London in 1979, raised in Sweden. Lives in Enskede with his partner and child.

Studied composition at The Gotland School of Music Composition, and recieved a bachelors at The Royal College of Music in Stockholm. Played in the neo-prog band Lucifers Lovsång. Released first solo album in 2018 Björn Gardner sings Ballads and Lullabies. Currently releasing his second solo album Tre Sultna Mågar and playing live shows.

Four Favourites:

Bert Jansch: Wishing Well “I played a lot of Bert Jansch´s repertoire on the street when I was younger. My interpreting the Trans-Atlantic treasure of folk song through a blues sensibility might owe something to this.

Tim Buckley: Phantasmagoria in Two “To me, the Sixties are magical, Tim Buckley’s albums are among the best.”

Rotvälta: Lament/Taklax “The song Med sorg och salta tårar on my album is a cover of Rotvälta´s arrangement of this song, as sung by Ingebjørg Liestøl. Rotvälta is the world’s greatest folk group.”

Folque: Skøn jomfru gick på høje fjell “The amazing Norwegian response to Steele Eye Span –a parallel to Sweden´s Folk & Rackare. Lisa Heljesen´s singing is so full bodied and present.”

Sings Ballads and Lullabies reviewed by LIRA MAGAZINE 2020-05-29

Written by Jonas Linge for Lira Magazine. Freely translated to English:

CAPTIVATING AND ELUSIVE During my first listen through I am somewhat inquisitive, what kind of music is this? No generic reference seems to fit. The second listen through reveals a singer with a schooled voice, possibly a folk singer with multiple influences. The soundscape is complex, eclectic in its diversity: Guitar, banjo, bass, harmonica, electric guitar and drums, violin, mandolin. A rich collection of folk instruments, a promise of good things to come. But where lies the source? On my third listen through it´s a pearl, I´m impressed by Björns excellent singing. It´s clearly reminiscent of Ian Andersson of Jethro Tull, that means top marks indeed.

The harmonies floating in between major and minor feel like clearly like British folk, to my ears. The CD consists of eight tracks and some of these are English language ballads. Though which of the songs are written by Björn is hard know, since this is not evident from the album credits. And it does not matter, I´m thoroughly enjoying this. Autumn Bell is brilliant, starts by the fireside with guitar and vocal, gradually joined by other instruments. How lovely, the entry of the light drums!

The vocal harmonies are brilliant. Good Mix. At times I start thinking I´m listening to Gentle Giant from the 70´s. Dance to your Daddy with banjo accompaniment is super nice! But the winner of ”best track” is Lu Lay Little Kin where it all reaches completion and a boundless space of progressive music layers crescending, and I want this to never end. ”



“Lucifers Lovsång (Lucifer’s Song of Praise) is a project from Björn Gardner (vocals, guitars, mandolin, banjo, bass, keyboards and percussion) with assistance from Filip Fjellström (drums and percussion), Max Leopoldsson (Hammond, Rhodes, keyboards), Mikael Norstedt (vocals, bass, drums, percussion), Hanna Schuldt (vocals), and Edda Magnasson (vocals)..”

 “…Though the singing is entirely in Swedish, a translation of the lyrics reveals a deep political connection that also harks back to the Swedish ‘musical movement’ while the combination of lyrics and music fit into absurdist Mothers of Invention territory or even the challenging front of Henry Cow and the Rock in Opposition movement (Det finns inget utom det materiella för det har gud bestämt – There is nothing but the material because God has decided); just reading the lyrics reminds me of Roger Waters directing his ire at those responsible for despicable politics and the destruction of the environment, with the message driven home by both clever word-play and repetition of phrases. Having said that, if you don’t understand Swedish, the singing is anything but gloomy. Despite Gardner’s folk background, this is complex, electric music..”