Hawktail + Väsen
Friday February 16, 2024

Hawktail + Väsen
Hawktail + Väsen is the culmination of decades of influence and musical relation.
Live and Onstage @ World Records Friday February 16, 2024

Hawktail + Väsen is the culmination of decades of influence and musical relation. Brittany, Jordan and Paul met while in college on the east coast, jamming on Väsen tunes and seeing their concerts whenever possible. These experiences proved highly formative to their musical identities and Väsen continues to inspire their direction.

“Their music was highly relatable, yet also felt strange and new,” says bassist Paul Kowert. “Meeting someone else who also knew their tunes was exciting. Playing them together: even better.”

There’s a strong tie between their respective fiddle traditions and each band’s approach to tune-writing that makes this collaboration a natural fit. The opportunity to perform together is something that both bands have been looking forward to for years.

“The members of Hawktail are brilliant musicians I met when they were teenagers coming to Väsen-gigs on our US tours.” says Väsen’s Nyckelharpa player, Olov Johansson. “It’s been amazing to follow their path and now we get to create new Hawktail-Väsen music together!”


“Hawktail’s style is a bluegrass influenced fusion of fiddle-tune instrumentals, Jazz, Celtic, and classical chamber music.” – Bluegrass Unlimited

About Hawktail

Place of Growth (2022)

For nearly ten years, Hawktail bassist Paul Kowert has kept a computer folder of musical seeds—a digital root cellar of voice memos, studio outtakes, concert tapes. “I’ve been a cataloguer of stuff,” Kowert tells me from his hotel in Telluride (in addition to his work with Hawktail, Kowert is kicking off a summer tour as one-fifth of the Grammy Award-winning quintet Punch Brothers). “Periodically, I would go through the folder looking around, and I kept coming back to this file.”
“This file” is a thirty-second voice memo from 2016. “We called it ‘Complete Sound,’” Jordan Tice, guitarist, recalls. “It’s me just strumming… then Britt found this syncopated rhythm. We were kinda like, oh stop that’s really cool. Then Paul grabbed his iPhone and hit record.” Zooming in from Nashville, Tice sings the riff of “Complete Sound”—it’s the B-section of “Updraft,” one of the standout tracks on Hawktail’s newest release. “You come up with things and you don’t know what to do with them yet,” Tice explains, “you don’t have the context or the experience to bring it around home base yet.”
In the six years since “Complete Sound”—years that saw the release of Hawktail’s acclaimed freshman and sophomore efforts, Unless (2018) and Formations (2020)—Hawktail has developed not only the context and experience necessary to bring the “Complete Sound” musical seed to fruition, but those elements necessary to craft the quartet’s most ambitious album yet.
Running just under thirty-minutes, Place of Growth is music made for a single sitting—a collection of eight tracks laced together by a common thread of recurring “Wanderings” and thematic recollections. “It’s not a single piece,” Kowert is quick to clarify, but one could reasonably mistake it for such; Place of Growth lives somewhere between a collection of tunes and a chamber suite. “If I had to give it a term—and I only chanced upon this last night,” Kowert tells me, “I’d call it a ‘tune cycle.’”
This is as much explicit “meaning” as Kowert will provide. And that just might be enough. “There’s never gonna be another one of these people,” Kowert says. “So what does the album mean? It’s the music that we made at this time in our lives with this specific group of people. It couldn’t have been anywhere near the same if anyone was different, I’m proud of that. It couldn’t be anywhere near the same.”
And it may not be “anywhere near the same” again—not in the immediate future, at least. As various projects scatter Hawktail to the wind, the next stage of the quartet’s growth is anyone’s guess. But to think of Hawktail’s future may be to miss the point once more. Place of Growth is a record with its feet planted firmly in the present, perhaps a perpetual present; it is a record that captures musicians at a distinct moment in their lives and holds that moment in place. In this capacity, one cannot help but think of the herbarium sheet on the album’s cover: a flower—a bell heather—plucked and pressed over a hundred years ago; a living thing—a growing thing—held in place, preserved.

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at World Records!


“…They became a link in the living tradition that Swedish folk music has enjoyed through the centuries.”Väsen History

About Väsen

Väsen, Mikael Marin and Olov Johansson have, after 40 years of interaction and touring, refined their sound and their stage presence to the extent that today they are unique in their kind. With their playful and perfect interplay, they seem to defy the laws of physics in what appears to be a telepathic communication.
The music is intense and full of humor. They create their very own musical language which is as modern as it is ancient. With a foundation firmly rooted in the traditional music of Uppland, they have always looked curiously at new musical goals.
Väsen’s new album “Melliken” invites you to enter a colorful, expressive world in which Olov and Mikael’s music runs through the generations like a common thread. Traditional tunes are commented on by new compositions and the old tunes played by Gustaf Strutz, Melliken and Gustav Uggla gain wings and fly once more. A dark touch on the bass viola and the violoncello da spalla combines with silvery nyckelharpas to form a unique sound and interplay. Melliken is the latest stage in Väsen’s long musical journey which now spans almost four decades. As always, joy and love of the music are at the heart of it all.
Olov & Micke have played together since 1983 when they met at Oktoberstämman in Uppsala and discovered that they had a large common repertoire and a similar way of playing. It turned out that Micke had learned from Ivar Tallroth in Uppsala and Olov had learned from Curt Tallroth in Harbo. They had been introduced to the rich Bohlin / Tallroth tradition by the two brothers. Olov & Micke started playing intensively together and released their first recording, “Det rister i Örat,” in 1985. They have played an incredible amount together over the years in Väsen. Now they go on adventures among old fine musicians, stories and trad tunes and at the same time they continue to break new ground. They perform on a variety of stringed instruments, including a silverbasharpa, oktavharpa, three-rowed Nyckelharpa, violoncello da spalla and a blue electric viola.

Get Väsen albums
at World Records!

Enjoy Hawktail + Väsen music!


Hawktail + Väsen – Live and Onstage
@ World Records Friday February 16, 2024! 

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