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Mythopoeic Mind: Hatchling

Norwegian prog-rockers Mythopoeic Mind have returned with their sophomore effort. Following on the heels of 2019’s Mythopoetry, Hatchling was the culmination of several factors, mainly the desire of main man Steinar Børve to turn what had been only a studio project for the first album into a full fledged touring band for the second album. On top of that even though Steinar had material ready for a second album he and the band wanted to go on the road first. However due to that live music killing jerk, aka Covid19, the band was forced to reconsider and so decided to once again enter the studio. Choosing to capture a more raw and spontaneous version of the band they decided to shelve the initial material for a later date and instead delivered the new material contained within Hatchling.

The music on Hatchling is loaded with charm and warmth. From the very beginning of the song “Fear Fiesta” and what seems to be a slight call to the Gershwin classic summertime being played in the void of space, then into a line that sounds like it could have come from clarinetist Ben Goldberg’s “Orphic Machine” album. Before kicking into an early King Crimson- like rocking groovy riff and singer Veronika Hørven Jensen doing a great Flora Purim without sounding ripped off at all. The whole thing is organic, seamless and fun. Plenty of great instrumentation from the whole cast of characters throughout the album too. "Winter of ‘73" continues the trend with 10% more aggression sprinkled in and some great space guitar splashed into the prog salad, with the horns acting as a stabilizing force and some tasty harmonies throughout. “Fog Vision” takes on a more dream-like state with spacey saxophone and Veronika’s vocals floating blissfully over percussion instruments from your kindergarten music class as well as strange robotic sound effects and some jazzy fretless bass towards the end of the track. “Cottage of Lost Play” begins with a slightly darker, almost somewhat sinister feel. However the band settles into a very chill groove and the Flora Purim with Return to Forever vibe resurfaces and it’s very enjoyable. Very chill with understated but delightful instrumentation to keep the musicians in the audience engaged. The album then wraps up with the longest track on the album, the title track, “Hatchling” and its gentle mix of somewhat pastoral and spacey sounds with Veronika’s voice softly guiding the way in conjunction with the sweet phrasing of the acoustic guitars. The band continues peacefully although shifting into the electric mode. About halfway in the band kicks in with a cool groove and lifts the song up a touch while retaining the dreamy atmosphere. Again Mythopoeic Mind shows a great use of understated yet classy instrumentation that relies largely on vintage sounds which makes the whole thing sound rich and warm. There are a few passages of classical western music thrown in for good measure but done with feeling and respect, again it's seamless and classy.

Hatchling definitely sounds like an amalgam of many influences, at least to my ears, from across both Prog Rock and the lighter, early phase of late 60’s, early 70’s Jazz Fusion. Everything is handled with a clear love for the music and is authentic and honest. Hatchling is mostly very relaxed with moments of rocking grooving energy and the band never drifts into the cheese that can come with this mix of genres. An enjoyable, charming, classy and chilled Prog Rock album.

Mythopoeic Mind are:
Pål Selsjord Bjørseth: Keyboards and trumpet
Ola Mile Bruland: Fretless bass, double bass and euphonium
Steinar Børve: Saxophones, EWI, keyboards, backing vocals and programming
Trond Gjellum: Drums, percussion, and programming
Veronika Hørven Jensen: Lead and backing vocals
Anders K. Krabberød: Electric and Acoustic guitars
Guest musician:
Lars-Jarand Bakkelund: Bassoon (on 5)

1. Fear Fiesta
2. Winter of ‘73
3. Fog Vision
4. Cottage of Lost Play
5. Hatchling

Added: July 1st 2022
Reviewer: Benjamin Dudai
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 985
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Mythopoeic Mind: Hatchling
Posted by Michael Popke, SoT Staff Writer on 2022-07-01 15:29:25
My Score:

My esteemed SoT colleagues. Benjamin and Jon, have already weighed in on the high merits of the second album from this Norwegian collective, but I thought it might be helpful to add that Hatchling sounds like Jon Anderson fronting early-period Chicago. Equal parts jazzy and proggy, and with melodies and horns galore, Mythopoeic Mind proves it can pull off everything from epic instrumentals (“Winter of ’73”) to moody nightclub pieces (“Fog Vision”). This Hatchling already sounds matured to near perfection.

Mythopoeic Mind: Hatchling
Posted by Jon Neudorf, SoT Staff Writer on 2021-12-23 05:43:38
My Score:

From the mind of Steinar Børve, Apollon Records brings you Mythopoeic Mind, hailing from Oslo, Norway. This is a vehicle for Børve to channel symphonic prog leanings rather than the eclectic prog of his main band Panzerpappa. Their first album is titled Mythopoetry, released in 2019 and is followed by their 2021 release Hatchling. In the band are:

Pål Selsjord Bjørseth (keyboards and trumpet)
Ola Mile Bruland (fretless and double bass, euphonium)
Steinar Børve (saxophones, EWI, keyboards, Moog on #4, backing vocals, programming)
Trond Gjellum (drums, percussion, Kastle drum on #3, programming)
Veronika Hørven Jensen (lead and backing vocals)
Anders K. Krabberød (electric and acoustic guitars)
Guest musician:
Lars-Jarand Bakkelund (bassoon on #5)

I thought the debut album was excellent and the same can be said of Hatchling. Great all around musicianship, melodies and songcraft. “I Hear Fiesta” is a great start to the album as saxophone and keyboards lead to fuzzy guitar riffs, trumpet accents and fine lead vocals from Jensen. Her voice is near perfect for the style and screams ‘70s rock music. The following keyboard and guitar solos are superb. Next is “Winter of ‘73” starting with a trippy synth and bass percolating through the background as the drums kick in and the vocals mirroring the melody. The flow is just right before the band pull off a cool tripped out psychedelic jam. Much more subdued is “Fog Vision”, where gentle synth and keyboard textures and an electronic groove form a kind of space jazz hybrid that is positively transfixing. The title track ends the disc with fabulous acoustic guitar, sax and trumpet, flowing through pastoral soundscapes into spry Norwegian folk embellishments. Like the rest of the album the execution is spot on. Hatchling is somewhat different thanMythopoetry, perhaps with more folk and jazz vibes. It all works as Hatchling is another fine progressive rock album and as such earns a resounding recommendation.

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