Maggie Bjorklund: Nordic Queen Of Icy Americana

Videos by American Songwriter

Maggie Bjorklund is a Nordic queen of icy Americana. After lending her pedal steel talents to recordings by former Screaming Tree, Mark Pickerel, Bjorklund has teamed up with Calexico’s Joey Burns and John Convertino for a solo record, Coming Home. There’s not a better-suited pair than the Calexico multi-instrumentalists to help Bjorklund capture the dimly lit intersection of Southwest Americana and the dusty soundscapes of Spaghetti Westerns. Two duets with Mark Lanegan, “Coming Home” and “Intertwined,” witness the former Screaming Trees’ frontman and Bjorklund recreating some of the odd chemistry of Tom Waits and Crystal Gayle in One From The Heart, with Lanegan’s dusty drawl balanced by Bjorklund’s angelic voice. “Summer Romance” features vocals from Visqueen’s Rachel Flotard and mixes a slow, Neko Case-inspired verse with a happening ‘50s-pop chorus. The album also includes outer-space pedal steel noise studies like “Falling” and stunning instrumentals like “Insekt,” a cross between Desire-era Dylan (a tinny, electric mandolin) and the Italian composer Piero Umiliani’s soundtracks for the La Ragazza trilogy (Bjorklund’s wild vocalizing). Coming Home is a beautiful American psychedelic record that lovingly portrays Bjorklund’s adopted musical home.

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