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From its beginning in 2002, Wardruna drew from Einar’s absorption in Norway’s pre- Christian culture. He grew up north of Bergen on the island Osterøy and began reading about runes and Nordic history in his early teens, and soon came to the idea of making his own music in sympathy with what he was learning. Following years of working with various metal bands, the need to follow his own musical vision grew and Einar increasingly plunged into the Nordic world’s traditional music.
While nothing is necessarily obvious with Wardruna, the years since 2009’s debut album Runaljod - gap var Ginnunga have seen increasing international success. Runaljod - Yggdrasil came in 2013 and was followed in 2016 by Runaljod – Ragnarok. Each was part of a trilogy, with individual songs inspired by one of the 24 characters of the Elder Futhark, the earliest runic alphabet in which each character symbolises a specific trait as well as a letter and spoken sound. Runaljod – Ragnarok climbed to the top spot in America on Billboard’s World Music charts, and did so in Canada too. In 2018, the lower-key, live-in-the-studio set Skald was released. For Wardruna's fourth album, Einar had taken a similar approach to his solo shows with a stripped-back, intimate sound.
Wardruna’s fifth album Kvitravn will be released worldwide on January 22nd, 2021. Kvitravn translates as “white raven” which, as Einar puts it, is also his “artist name.” “The raven is an animal I have a totemic relationship with, which is why I chose that for myself,” he explains. As Kvitravn unfolds, the journey is sustained by such age-old Nordic instruments as the goat- horn, kravik-lyre and the taglharpa. Vocals soar, hanging in the air like mist coating mountain-tops and valleys alike.