Title - 'Magdalen Accepts the Invitation'
Artist - Mark Olson & Ingunn Ringvold
For those not in the know, Mark Olson was raised in Minnesota by a family of farmers and teachers and in 1985, he co-founded the Jayhawks, with whom he made five LPs.
Ingunn Ringvold comes from Larvik, Norway, the home of Thor Heyerdahl. She studied the Qanon with Arax, a master musician in Vanadzor, Armenia, where she learned how to harness great strength in her performance style.
This third collaboration between Americana pioneer Olson (Jayhawks) and Norwegian singer/multi-instrumentalist Ringvold, Magdalen Accepts the Invitation mines a Death Valley isolation chamber folk/pop sound awash with dramatic darkness and vivid light.
While continuing along the Americana-cobbled roads they took on their first two albums, the husband-and-wife duo here explore lesser traveled musical territories here.
The album sounds like you are out in the desert all alone, remembering childhood experiences and music and the joy took place.
Says Olson, "The writing of the new music is the desert I long to return to. This valley of sounds is where I really want to be and what takes up the most time in my consciousness."
1. 'Pipestone I Won't Be Back'
2. 'You'll Find the Morning'
3. 'Excelsior Park'
4. 'Christina Hi'
5. 'April in Your Cloud Garden'
6. '31 Patience Games'
7. 'Children of the Streetcar'
8. 'Silent Mary'
9. 'Elmira's Fountain'
10. 'Black Locust'
This new, and original 10-track album - which was done on a Nagra field recorder, which further enhances the albums unvarnished sonic textures - opens with the lo-fi Americana of 'Pipestone I Won't Be Back' (named after Pipestone Minnesota, a town made of Sioux Quartzite buildings), and backs that up seamlessly with both the early '70s jangly pop of 'You'll Find the Morning' and the hippyesque-vibe of 'Excelsior Park' (named after the old amusement park on Lake Minnetonka).
Next up is the free flowing majesty of 'Christina Hi' which is followed by more '70s-esque melodies found within 'April in Your Cloud Garden,' the gentle ebb and flow of '31 Patience Games' (written in South Africa where Mark and Ingunn were married), and the absolutely magnificent, summers breeze ambiance of 'Children of the Streetcar.'
On an album where Olson did all the analog engineering whilst Ringvold did the digital aspects, this music gorgeous music continues onward with the piano-led 'Silent Mary,' the perfectly married harmonies of 'Elmira's Fountain' (a song begun in Vanadzor, Armenia about a real fountain where the couple met their host, Elmira), and then comes to a close on the lo-fi folk Americana of 'Black Locust' (named after Black Locust tree seeds).
Mark and Ingunn live now in the California desert, and they tour off and on internationally almost every year.
Official CD, Vinyl LP and Digital Purchase Links
Mark Olson @ Facebook