A nice and intimate surprise
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