Maggie Bjorklund is a steel guitarist, singer, and composer from Denmark. She has gotten her name out there as a musician by working with many. Her experience includes having toured and recorded with Jack White, performed with Howe Gelb, X’s John Doe, and Exene Cervenka, and released her debut album with contributions from music friends. Her latest release is the result of recent changes in her life and her development as a songwriter.
Bjorklund has stated that she wrote this album during an emotionally stressful time, and considering the album’s somber overall ambiance and profound lyrics, her emotional state conveyed well. Her primary instrument, the steel guitar, truly takes center in her work. Many times you can just hear pure guitar and she plays beautifully, executing intricate musical ideas. The guitar even portrays a voice and personality of its own, essentially coming alive. Bjorklund has a soft voice of soul and yearn that complements her leading guitar.
“The Road To Samarkand” is a guitar-only track that illustrates just how well Bjorklund is able to phrase herself through her playing. A duet, “Fro Fro Heart” features a guest vocal by Kurt Wagner of Lambchop. Contemporary and lively, “Name In The Sand” has a distinguished vocal line, which isn’t common on the record. “Missing At Sea” has interesting tones and the arrangement is eclectic, featuring vague dissonant sounds.
Shaken, despite its instrumental simplicity, is musically developed and layered. There is a darkness and rich texture, encompassing all of the emotions Bjorklund felt during her writing process. She has woven it together to create an album where the music instantly alludes to a charming dream state mixed with an eerie aura of the supernatural, transporting the listener from reality into the lush ambiance.
In A Word: Escapism