Formed in 2005 and based in Manchester, Kalbakken are half Norwegian sibling duo Kirsty and David Nyhuus Birchall. They have a background in punk and improv styles but, as Kalbakken, they play their own readings of Scandinavian folk melodies, building new arrangements around old tunes. The group started with one Norwegian song their mother had sung to them as children and spiralled from there, learning melodies passed down through their family and making exhaustive trips to Norwegian libraries to trawl the archives. What emerges on their debut album is a pure, raw distillation of those songs. It's clear this is not part of any polite, nostalgic folk revival. This is the real deal - musicians connecting to the blood and guts, fear and dread of centuries-old storytelling.