Today, GuitarWorld.com presents the exclusive premiere of Shaken, the new album by Maggie Björklund, a pedal steel guitarist — and singer/songwriter — from Copenhagen, Denmark.
Shaken will be released October 14 in the U.S. via Bloodshot Records.
If Björklund looks familiar, it might be due to her recent work with former White Stripes frontman Jack White. She has performed frequently with White and appeared on his latest album, 2014's Lazaretto. She's also landed gigs with X’s John Doe, not to mention Exene Cervenka and Howe Gelb.
For Shaken, Björklund put together an A-list band featuring drummer John Convertino (Calexico), Barb Hunter on cello, Jim Barr (Portishead) on bass, John Parish (PJ Harvey, Sparklehorse) on guitars/electric bass and production, and a featured guest vocal appearance by Kurt Wagner (Lambchop).
“The album took form in the midst of some big changes in my life,” Björklund said. “My mother died. I wrote a big part of the material while going to the hospital every day and helping her on her last road to the end.”
Shaken is full of potent memories and emotional outpouring, as translated into the warm but dark sonic textures. Much of the music here, whether instrumental or with vocals, flows like dreams, with the listener visualizing the scenery via detailed aural talisman.
At the sounds' core are the subtly dominant and defining touches of Bjorklund’s Sho-Bud pedal steel melody lines, best heard in the distorted ghostly swells of “Bottom of the Well” and the breathy waves of “The Unlucky.”
Check out the album below. As always, be sure to let us know what you think of it in the comments below or on Facebook.