Ernst Molden

Just a few months ago Ernst Molden caught a lot of attention with his release “Häuserl am Oasch”. In his usual heartfelt style, the songsmith and author illuminates the depths of the Viennese soul. No matter whether if written or sung, this theme runs like a leitmotif through the work of this restless artist. Ernst Molden, perhaps Austria’s most famous songwriter, is blessed with many talents, but this still does not stop him from staying very modest.

No, Molden is not a man who boasts of his talents. His articles, columns and essays are significant enough to speak for themselves. He is an artist who feels equally at home in literature as well as in music. He does not seperate them from each other, but rather merges them in his own typical way. Molden understands the art of songwriting as a vehicle, on which he can transport his (everyday) stories to the public. The list of his admirers is long and ranges from Rainer Krispel, Robert Rotifer to Willi Resetarits and Walther Soyka.

Born into a Viennese writer and journalist family, Molden’s path seemed to be marked out from the beginning, but he is also a prime example of a free spirit and a lateral thinker. It is hardly surprising that he soon gave up his Germanic Studies in order to face new challenges. After various journalistic activities, such as with the daily newspaper “Die Presse”, Molden worked as a story editor and writer at the Vienna Schauspielhaus  from 1991 to 1993. After the expiry of this employment, he decided from then on to work as a musician and a writer.

In the following years, Ernst Molden was driven by immense creativity and published four novels and three volumes of essays. And as if that were not enough, he was also very active in the musical terrain. Among other things, he released two CDs with his co-founded pop/poetry formations “Teufel & der Rest der Götter” and „Der Nachtbus“. Under his own name, he released the albums  „Nimm mich Schwester“ (2003), „Haus des Meeres“ (2005) and „Bubenlieder“ (2006). Especially with these two latest releases, Ernst Molden has managed to establish himself as a benchmark in the German-songwriter scene.

In 2008 Molden released two new albums “Foan” and “Wien”. As with Molden’s previous output, the critics were excited again, almost euphoric. Samir H. Köck wrote in the local newspaper “Die Presse” in June 2008: “Molden’s new albums belong to the most beautiful records that have ever been recorded in Austrian pop”. Dietmar Hoscher from the music magazine “Concerto” wrote: “Molden has quietly but inexorably played, sung and written himself to the top of the songwriter scene.” These two albums, which were intended to be a musical tribute to Molden’s hometown Vienna, prove that Molden is a highly distinctive artist with his own unique style. Like no other, Molden has managed to portray the lifestyle of the city Vienna with all its melancholy but also with its hope in a very authentic and personal form.

With the support of Willi Resetarits and Walther Soyka, the album “Ohne Di” followed in 2009. Even more than before, the singer-songwriter accomodated the Austropop music from Marke Danzer or Ambros, but without copying them. Especially with this album, Molden took his own path, which helped him build a musical bridge from the American-style blues to traditional Viennese folk music, the Wienerlied. “Ohne Di” is a piece of new, genuine Viennese pop music, released from all clichés, and feeds the notion Austropop with a new terminology.

In April this year, Molden presented his new masterpiece “Häuserl on Oasch”. Once again it is the soul of Vienna, which is the main theme of this deep black atmospheric artwork. No matter in what field he is working in, Molden is an artist who always reinvents himself and enjoys recognition from different audiences. Molden always stays authentic and real, and because of his wide-ranging talents, will likely never have to be told what to do.



Michael Ternai
translated from the German by Doris Miyung Brady