This is Fuel’s List
1. Yona and Orkesteri Liikuvat Pilvet – Shhh…
2. Kuusumun Profeetta – Sataa lumi maahan hiljaa ja varhain
3. Suo – Saunaloitsu
4. Värttinä – Sorja Poika
5. Kerkko Koskinen Kollektiivi – Laura Palmer
6. Ceebrolistics – Nämä aallot
7. Haikara – Kun menet tarpeeksi kauas tulevaisuuteen, huomaat olevasi menneisyydessä
8. Elokuu – Soutaa Huopaa
9. Paavoharju – Valo Tihkuu Kaiken Läpi
10. CMX – Ruoste
11. Tenhi – Kausienranta
Yona and Liikuvat Pilvet begin with a waltz and ask us to be quiet and move on from a senseless battle. Pluck that harp, baby!
Kuusumun Profeetta’s Mika Rättö is a driving force in Eleanoora Rosenholm, Circle, Rättö and Lehtisalo, etc. “The snow falls early and silently” is just a brilliant mediation on being alone – melancholy heaven. Not folk but this new song could fit in Finland’s troubadour tradition.
Suo are a classic folk act. The singing and playing in “Sauna Spell” is magnificent and is the clearest example of folk I’ll include.
Värttinä sound so fresh on their first albums: sex, desire, violence, misery, mystery, rural life, nagging women, cruel men, etc (this one’s about a “Pretty boy”). They attack traditional songs like the Pogues once did. Listen to those call and response vocals, the stressing of the first syllable as in the chanting of a spell.
Kerkko Koskinen Kolektiivi are Mr Koskinen’s current day job: orchestral pop and jazz. The voices are crystal clear and the sounds organic, especially the way the song ends with individuals forming a dramatic, powerful collective. The lyrics have a Finnish worldview, although the central character dances like Laura Palmer in slow motion.
Ceebrolistics are Suomi rap pioneers. “These waves” initially moves like gentle Finnish waters, but suddenly the song sounds like shamen casting a spell and urging a beat to appear. It does: a thoughtful, reflective beat.
Haikara give us eight minutes of prog rock boogie. It has a Finnish sensibility: studious and experimental. “When you go far enough into the future you notice you’re in the past.”
Elokuu are a new group and mix accordion and other traditional Finnish folk instruments with rap. It’s soft, humorous and documents the problems of what sounds like a typical on-off urban relationship. You can humppa to this. Humppa is a dance style.
Paavoharju are lo-fi, world music, mystics from the back of beyond. The song has a strong spiritual element. Traditional instruments, electronica, beats and Bollywood. This band, like others of their ilk, is brilliant in small doses, or longer if you are planning on going insane in a log cabin far from a wi-fi connection.
CMX: I was going to put in some folk metal but then thought of the sometimes shamanistic styling of CMX and ended up with the string-laden “Rust”. Not folk at all, but it is so Finnish.
Tenhi describe the natural Finnish environment like few other bands. They celebrate its arbitrariness, brutality, triumphs and wonder. This song has more drive than many of their numbers, but still has ebb and flow.