Finland has many talented accordion players, and Teija Niku is certainly one of the best of her generation. Apart from Finnish folk music, she specialises in Balkan music and has a natural sense of how to combine these two. Her albums so far have been either ensemble work (Finsko Pajdusko, 2011) or composition-focused (Memento, 2017) – her solo album is thus a nice and intimate surprise.
Listening to the solo album one almost feels like sneaking into her studio (I am not convinced that the handful of multi-track experiments was even needed), and in this solo context I actually appreciate Niku’s composition skills more than ever. When playing solo, it is impossible to hide – the music itself will stand out. The accordion both soothes us in intimate waltzes or polskas and makes us dance in the more Balkan-tasting tracks.
Of course, Teija Niku’s performer skills are what makes everything work. She uses both a broad dynamic scale and a nice variety of techniques, digging out nice bass melodies on a standard bass accordion. Niku also sings, in a quite plain but nice way, with an attractive upper register.
TEIJA NIKU: Hetkessä
2019 Ääniä AANIA-34