in Reviews

Light and deep folk

by Amanda Kauranne

"An unashamedly wonderful album: light and deep at the same time."

The title of this album is enough to invite one to reflect, and the deep thought processes continue when the pressures of a straight A girl are brought into the spotlight, when lifelong melancholia resonates in the low frequencies of the double bass, but also when the happy tidings of sexual liberation are briskly announced in multiple languages.

The third full-length recording by the five-piece ensemble proves that the era of themed albums is not over: delving into the feelings of shame and the processes of getting rid of them results in uncompromising and playful songs with a message. The stories start small and as each piece progresses, its tunes and lyrics open up inner worlds where listeners are surprised to find themselves, suddenly moved to tears.

The album’s rhythms, sounds and lyrics often follow different traditional forms – closely but not perfectly. It is precisely these small deviations that make the music so delightful and fascinating. It sounds both familiar and new at the same time; it holds on to the freedom of the singer-songwriter tradition. Some of the arrangements are painted with generous brush strokes in true film music style: the string parts provide colour to the overall mood while the Eurovision-style modulations bring power into the mix. The vocal harmonies and the versatile acoustic instrumentation illustrate each song’s unique character through the musicians’ capable interpretations.

An unashamedly wonderful album: light and deep at the same time.

VALMA & VARSINAISET: Laulaja vailla ääntä
Vilma Talvitie – vocals, piano
Laura Kuisma – violin, vocals
Sannis Sundström – violin, vocals
Reetta Kuisma – double bass, vocals
Lauri Hongisto – guitar, vocals
Aino Liutu – cello, vocals

Translation: Hanna-Mari Latham