Dark folk artist Kati Rán signs to Svart Records, new album out May 2024

Author Benedetta Baldin - 17.2.2024

Dutch artist and Nordic folk pioneer Kati Rán announces her long-awaited 13-track full-length album “SÁLA” (old Norse for ‘sea’ and ‘soul’) together with the news of her signing to Svart Records, Finland. For a glimpse of what’s to come, Kati Rán is now sharing a short docu-clip about the record, which can be seen at HERE

Kati Rán elaborates:

For me, signing to Svart Records was the most natural next step. Collaborating and releasing my music with Svart’s long-standing expertise in bringing out amazing artists and vinyl for true music connoisseurs, I’m grateful to be able to bring my audience a beautiful, elevated experience to enjoy my new Nordic Dark folk album SÁLA. Together with Jaani Peuhu (Swallow the Sun, IANAI, Lord of the Lost, Hallatar) and Christopher Juul (Heilung), my new album has been tenuously crafted and produced and is curated by my many years of writing, researching, and traveling the Northern landscapes, taking on board with me incredible artists, sounds, and musicians to breathe the Nordic soul into the heart of this album. I’m looking forward to opening the floodgates to “SÁLA” with the release of the first single and opening track “STONE PILLARS” on the 23rd of February. It embraces our most vulnerable side, questions our mind, and attempts to resurrect or reposition ourselves through spinning with the Fates. It dips right into the heart of things.”

Svart Records is delighted to expand its international artist roster with the signing of established Dark Nordic Folk artist Kati Rán and to release her second full-length album “SÁLA” on 24th of May 2024 and you can pre-save it digitally HERE.

Special vinyl editions in gold, transparent smoke, and black as well as digipack CDs and t-shirts are available for pre-order NOW via Svart Records WEBSTORE

“SÁLA” features an impressive lineup of diverse musicians who lent their talents to the record, including Gaahl, Napalm Death‘s Mitch Harris, members of Heilung, Sígur Rós, and many others!

Kati Rán is known for her collaborative audio work for Netflix’s tv series ‘VIKINGS: VALHALLA’, films and work for videogames, her stage appearances with WardrunaMyrkur, and Gaahls Wyrd to name a few, and her previous releases of the successful album; and Nordic dark folk tracks “Blodbylgje” and Icelandic track “Unnr | Mindbeach“; that run millions of streams and gathered a tightly knit Nordic folk music-loving audience around her.

If the most profound treasures are often the most deeply buried, the journey to uncover them is a vital process of discovery. Five years after the 15-minute single “Blodbylgje” signaled the birth of a new, more primordial, and immersive vision after the dissolution of her band L.E.A.F., Nordic dark folk artist Kati Rán has expanded on its oceanic theme for her long-awaited full-length album, “SÁLA”. Embarking on a far-reaching musical and personal travelogue, it’s a reawakening of both the feminine narratives submerged and fragmented within Norse mythology, and the enduring, healing powers held within.

Named after the Old Norse word for ‘soul’ and ‘sea’, “SÁLA” is an act of ‘soul retrieval’, the shamanic art of trauma recovery, be it illness, death, heartbreak, or loss, and the reintegration of a splintered self. Across its 13, wide-ranging, elegantly unfolding tracks, the album is an embodiment of different feminine voices and perspectives – from the Norse nine daughters of the sea, or ‘billow maidens’, through various historical and fictional figures to the late-night voices we hear in our most liminal states – all with tales to tell, riddles to solve, challenges to be accepted and guidance to offer. It’s a multiplicity that, like the ocean itself, belongs to a vast, restless dynamic: a matrix of mysteries, unfathomable depths, and ever-shifting currents, accumulating into an elemental, regenerative source of power.

Recorded in a barn in Húsafell, Iceland – home to glacier ice caves and a rare lava stone marimba rediscovered for the track “Stone Pillars” – as well as Finland, Norway, and at home in Kati’s native Netherlands, “SÁLA” is as much chronicle of Kati’s own perspective-shifting recording process as it as a pilgrimage through different viewpoints and internal states. That itinerant urge is also reflected in the use of different languages, ranging across Norwegian, Old Norse, Icelandic, and, for the first time, English, her combination of ancient texts, historical reimaginings, and unguarded personal reflection backed up by deep research into the most resonant recesses of Nordic lore.

Spun throughout every thread of “SÁLA” is a sense of communion – with the power of stories to offer moral guidance and the thrill of the unknown; with the element of water, recreated across the album both in field recordings and the agelessly organic nature of the music itself; with the archetypes whose qualities we are called upon to embody at our most critical moments; and with the internal hidden realms forever whispering at us from the far edges of our consciousness.

Appropriately, it’s a collaborative venture too. As well as working closely together with Finnish producer Jaani Peuhu, there are contributions from across the musical spectrum, including extreme metal vocalist extraordinaire Gaahl, the Icelandic female choir Umbra Ensemble, renowned Norwegian jazz musician Karl Seglem, Björk and Brian Eno contrabassist Borgar Magnason, members of pagan folk acts Völuspá, Gealdýr, Heilung and Theodor Bastard and even Napalm Death’s Mitch Harris on vocals.

For all the many sources “SÁLA” draws from, the result is a singular, intimately transformative rite of passage, and a return of the heart to the reverent continuity of the sacred. It will take you from the opening title track’s chest-pounding rhythmic pulse emerging from a traditional Norwegian bukkehorn (recorded by Karl Seglem), a galloping horse-rider and Kati’s glacial, velveteen chant, through “Kólga’s” recounting of female persecution through the ages borne on the most gossamer-light yet unbreakable of timbres and “Stone Pillar’s” gently percolating, deep wells of abandonment and incantations to recovery. “SÁLA” closes with the track ‘Sátta’  – Old Norse for ‘peace’ and ‘reconciliation’ – ending the album as it began with the bukkehorn, as it weaves rich drones and experience-stamped poems and prayers, Kati’s vocals the most sensitively tuned of emotional barometers. An album made in dedication, and in thrall to, its own sense of destiny, “SÁLA” is, as all quests must ultimately be, a homecoming.

For Fans Of: 

Heilung, Wardruna, Ianai, Gaahls WYRD, Nytt Land

Kati Rán

Special Guests:
Gaahl (Gaahl, Wyrd, Wardruna)
Mitch Harris (Napalm Death)
Jaani Peuhu (Swallow the Sun, IANAI, Lord of the Lost, Hallatar)
Karl Seglem (Norwegian jazz and folk legend)
Borgar Magnason (Björk, Sígur Rós, Brian Eno)
Emilie Lorentzen (Heilung)
Nicholas Schipper (Heilung)
Yana Veva (Theodor Basterd)
Umbra (Icelandic female choir)
Sól Geirsdóttir, Varg Saastad (Völuspá band)
Marianne Heikkinen, Salla Marja (Saruru,´bunny girl metal´)
Páll Guðmunsson (Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson, Steindór Anderssen, Sígur Rós)


Jaani Peuhu, Kati Rán, Christopher Juul

Jaime Gomez Arrelano
Cover Art: 

Photographer Arne Beck


Halfdan Skrifa

Graphic design:

Jari Laurén, Charlotte Boer

Deluxe Box Edition with cover painting by Marzena Ablewska-Lech


Jonathan Selzer

01. SÁLA (06:47)

02. HEFRING (04:02)

03. KÓLGA | 16 (06:48)

04. BLODBYLGJE (15:22)

05. DRÖFN | Drifting (02:20)

06. STONE PILLARS (08:15)

07. DÚFA | Sleeping (02:19)

08. UNNR| Mindbeach (09:36)

09. HIMINGLÆVA (04:59)

10. HRÖNN (04:52)

11. BÁRA | Bósi (05:52)

12. SEGIÐ MÉR (03:43)

13. SÁTTA (03:10)

Full running time: 78:00