Myrkur: The 10 songs that changed my life

Myrkur rummages through her record collection to pick the most influential songs in her life – from Prince to The Cure.

Myrkur: The 10 songs that changed my life
Dan Slessor

Myrkur aka Amalie Bruun peels back the layers on the key songs and artists that have helped shape and form her ethereal, dark folk majesty…

The first song that I remember hearing...

Metallica – Enter Sandman (1991)

“I vividly recall hearing this at an early age. It was popular on the radio, and at that point it was the greatest thing I’d ever heard. As a five-year-old I thought it was so catchy and scary! Even now, that guitar sound and that kind of chord progression is what I think of when I think of heavy metal.”

The song that reminds me of high school...

Prince – The Beautiful Ones (1984)

“I remember somebody playing this and I lost my mind. That’s when I started exploring Prince’s catalogue. It was his vocals that impressed me more than anything else. I remember thinking, ‘How can a man sing this way?’ There’s so much attitude in his voice, and the melodies and arrangements are really simple, but the whole thing’s like thunder, it’s so dynamic.”

The song that got me into black metal...

Darkthrone – Transilvanian Hunger (1994)

“This song got a lot of people into black metal. The funny thing is that it reminded me of classical music, and that was what made me connect with it at first, because I was playing a lot of that back then. Listening to this song I thought, ‘This is very dark, almost like Wagner, but it’s also beautiful.’ It’s got this crazy sound to it that’s really alluring. That style of music, you can’t ignore it. That absolutely opened the floodgates for me. I though, ‘Okay, I need to know what black metal is!’”

The song that reminds me of my first tour...

Anne Linnet – Glor På Vinduer (1983)

“The title translates as: ‘Staring At Windows’. It’s a dark ‘80s pop song by an artist, Anne Linnet, who I think was possibly the first in Denmark to be her own producer. She does everything herself. Her band was called Marquis De Sade, and everything was quite sexualised yet not, and the production is so insane. I was on tour with Deafheaven at the time, and for some reason we were all listening to this song a lot. Every time I hear it now I immediately flash back to that tour. I had the best time.”

The song I listen to when I'm angry...

Morbid Angel – Fall From Grace (1991)

“I’m always going to choose death metal in my angriest moments. Morbid Angel are good for it, because it’s not too chaotic, but they have that anger within that you can channel, and this song is perfect. I’m a big Morbid Angel fan. I like that old school Florida death metal sound, and I go back to the classics a lot. Although it’s not actually simple, it sounds like it is – it’s slower and more groove-based, and I really like that. It definitely makes me feel righteously angry. It blows air on the fire and makes it burn even more intensely.”

The song that picks me up when I'm down...

The Cure – Friday I'm In Love (1992)

“It’s got to be the happiest song ever written. It’s the melody, the lyrics, the guitar line, the tempo, it sounds like sunshine, and I don’t see how anyone could listen to it and not feel at least a little bit better about whatever’s got them down. I used to listen to The Cure a lot. I think the guitar work is really influential and pleasant to listen to. They’re a classic band who have a lot of really well-crafted songs.”

My favourite song to play live...

Myrkur – The Serpent (2017)

“This song is so dark and bombastic. It has a big soaring chorus that I love to build towards. It’s the opener of my live show, so it’s a good way of saying, ‘Okay, we’re kicking down the wall now, here we go!’ When I was writing it, I was definitely envisioning playing it live. It’s fun every time.”

The song that I wish I had written...

Wham! – Last Christmas (1984)

“I don’t like the song at all, but if I’d written this I’d be a millionaire! Every Christmas it’s the same old shit, and it never ends. It’s genius though. How can you write something that people want to listen to that much every year? They knew what they were doing, though, adding that little bell sound and putting the word ‘Christmas’ in the title. They started a whole genre of pop Christmas songs, most of which are just as bad.”

The song I listen to when I want to party...

Heilung – Norupo (2019)

“I haven’t partied for years, but if I was going to party I’d have to throw on Heilung. They’re good friends of mine who I have actually partied with, so I know they know how to do it. They make this tribal, viking music. There’s about 17 of them onstage, and it’s so wild.”

The song that I'd like played at my funeral...

Debussy – Clair De Lune (1905)

“It’s such a beautiful piece of music and it ties into a lot of my childhood memories. It’s melancholy and deep, but it also has a magical, shimmery element to it. People shouldn’t just be sad at a funeral, they should also feel good. I want people to be uplifted and think happy thoughts.”

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