Stream Realms (9.1.17)
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“When a modest artist says he’s recording the best work he’s ever done, it’s more than enough encouragement to hear more. Blake Berglund has done just that with his new album, Realms.” – CBC’s The Morning Edition
“‘Crooked Old Earth’ is an entirely appropriate song for these tumultuous times.” – The Boot
The Bluegrass Situation:
“Names like Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Buck Owens come to mind when people talk about the great country singing storytellers. Saskatchewan’s storytelling, guitar playing, singing, song writing cowboy, Blake Berglund, originally from Kennedy, is a newer name to country music, but is one that should be added to that list.” – The Observer
Country Twang / Roots artist Blake Berglund has created a captivating Rubik’s Cube of an album on his newest studio release, Realms, arriving September 1st (via his own Oceanman Records). Realms is an allegorical concept album encrypted with sub-themes of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Numerology, Eastern Philosophies and Western ideologies in a trilogy of songs that represent the physical, emotional, and spiritual self. Berglund welcomes interpretation and decoding through his tongue-in-cheek tales of a protagonist with heart, flaws and wisdom on a journey of salvation, paranormal intervention, destiny, marijuana and much more. The high-concept music of Realms plays as well in honky tonks as it does on dusty highways.
Numerology is rabbit hole on Realms created by Berglund’s riveting mind, relating to the chakras of the body from root to crown to the album’s songcraft and tracking. Berglund says, “The Root Chakra is sexually driven, earthy and physical (trilogy one “Pretty Good Guy”, “Moose Mountain” and “Crooked Old Earth”). As we move upward through the Sacral Chakra (still connected to the first three songs) into the Solar Plexus, solar being sun, we gain a sense of self-worth (”Heat of The Sun”). Next is the Heart Chakra, the desire for contentment and feeling peace (“Men My Age”). The Throat Chakra is next, the ability to communicate. “Men My Age” is a song about just that. It finishes with the Crown Chakra and a song about the afterlife, ‘Realms.’” He adds, “‘Interloper’ is also an alternate reality of ‘Moose Mountain.’”
This country labyrinth comes from the depths of a true artist, songwriter, journalistic writer and Canadian cowboy. Berglund grew up tending to 200 head of livestock in the rural community of Kennedy, Saskatchewan, Canada. Cowboy culture combined with formal piano training and grunge music evolved into musical endeavors that earned him a Canadian Country Music Association nomination for 2017’s Roots Artist Of The Year; his side project with Belle Plaine earned a Duo Of The Year nomination with the Saskatchewan Country Music Association that garnered direct support for Dwight Yoakam. Berglund is also the current Saskatchewan Country Music Association’s Roots Artist of the Year.
Berglund recently became a story of independence on CBC News with the urban-like legend of an artist knocking on doors with a debut album after being recorded on a shoestring budget. He exceeded his goal of 1,000 record sales in one month with the help of his community who welcomed Berglund into their homes as a crusader of his own music. Between 2008 and 2012, Berglund sold an astonishing 10,000 albums from door-to-door sales. View the full story here.
Berglund’s fascinating, creative mind and exploration opened up a new outlet in September 2016 as he developed a narrative to “Reclaim the Spirit of America’s Country Music”, a five week exploration of the U.S. hunting for venues, artists and communities dedicated to the genre. Berglund documented the narrative through a series of blog posts read by thousands with topics that delved into “War of Truth: The Importance Of Real Country Music” and “The Gentrification Of East Nashville”, collectively a story described as “Saving Country Music meets Hunter S. Thompson meets Lord of the Rings” and a cast of characters including Hayes Carll, Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell, Tyler Childers, John Prine, Ryan Bingham, Todd Snider and more. View insight into Berglund’s musings here: http://www.blakeberglund.com/
Berglund describes Realms as “Pink Floyd meets 90s country”, calling it “An expansion on the traditions of country music occupying the space between Waylon Jennings and John Prine.” He says, “My art displays a sense of self, lyrical priority and a knowledge of the history of country music.”