Garmarna is a Swedish folk rock band. Their songs are mainly old Scandinavian ballads.
Garmarna was founded in 1990. Stefan Brisland-Ferner, Gotte Ringqvist and Rickard Westman were inspired by old Swedish music, which they had heard in a theatre. They began searching for old tunes and instruments. After a year of playing together, Jens Höglin joined the band on drums.
In 1992 the band recorded their first EP. They thought that female vocals would provide a contrast to the dark mood of their music and invited Emma Härdelin, a long-time friend of the band, as the guest vocalist on the EP. She officially joined the band in 1993. The debut EP sold well in Sweden, and helped the band tour in Scandinavia.
On the album Vittrad, the band decided to add samples and sequencers to the mix. In 1994, Omnium released Vittrad in the USA, with English translations of the old songs.
Garmarna started a long German tour and released the album Guds spelemän in 1996. The album sold well in Sweden and was reviewed favourably internationally.
In 1998 Garmarna did a series of concerts in churches in the North of Sweden presenting their interpretation of the medieval works of Hildegard of Bingen, together with actress Felicia Konrad.
In 1999 the band released their third album Vedergällningen. The album's production leaned towards rock and trip-hop, the atmosphere of the music being more obscure than in previous albums.
Following Vedergällningen, the band returned to the studio to complete the full-length Hildegard von Bingen album, which was released in 2001. The tracks in this album are based on the compositions of 12th century German abbess Hildegard of Bingen, and the lyrics are in Latin and produced by House producer eric s sic.
In 2003, their first EP was released as a full album with six bonus tracks.
Stefan Brisland-Ferner - violin, hurdy-gurdy, sampler - on Garmarna (2003): jews harp, viola,
Emma Härdelin - vocals, violin,
Jens Höglin - drums, percussion - on Garmarna (2003): death grunts,
Gotte Ringqvist - guitar, violin, backing vocals - on Garmarna (2003): luteguitar, jews harp,
Rickard Westman - guitar, bass, e-bow - on Garmarna (2003): bouzouki, luteguitar