02/02/13 Wrexham Wales, United Kingdom
03/19/13 Cafe Mascot Helsinki, Finland
03/23/13 Kanteleviikko Ylivieska, Finland
05/29/13 Semifinal Helsinki, Finland
06/21/13 Private gig Rautalampi, Finland
07/08/13-07/14/13 Kaustinen Folk Music Festival
Ólöf Arnalds, cousin to Ólafur Arnalds, is a woman singer/songwriter who doubles as a touring band member of múm..…
They featured as a bonus disc (Introducing Kardemimmit) alongside The Rough Guide to the Music of Scandinavia album. After some research I discovered that Introducing Kardemimmit is a rebranded, reissued Kaisla. Now I know next to nothing about the music scene in Finland - aside from watching a documentary claiming tango was invented in Finland - but Kardemimmit's Kaisla was a lesson well learned. The album has a magical, medieval vibe to it. I initially attributed this magic to the harp, however the main instrument is actually the kantele, which has apparently existed for approximately 2,000 years and yet nobody told me about it.
Four friends from music school, Maija Pokela, Jutta Rahmel, Anna Wegelius and Leeni Wegelius, their music covers a wide range of Finnish musical styles such “reki-style of singing, Perhonjoki valley kantele style, Karelian small kantele and runo-song traditions as well as archaic improvisation.” As I said, I am no expert in Finnish folk so that’s a copy and paste job from their biography. Think Joanna Newsom with a kantele (which is definitely not a harp) and shorter songs (in Finnish).
Now I know this style of music ain’t going to be to everybody’s taste, but the opening track is called Maiden of Death so I guessing there is a darker element to these songs. Rock on (or just chill out). I’d recommend this album to traditional folk fans everywhere.
As for The Rough Guide to the Music of Scandinavia album, there’s only one band I know on it, múm (btw Ólöf Arnalds has recently successfully funded her next album via PledgeMusic). The rest of the album is as a diverse as I've come to expect from Rough Guides. My highlight track has to be Texas by Wimme - strange Sami techno.