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Kosmos - Tarinoita Voimasta  CD (album) cover

TARINOITA VOIMASTA

Kosmos

 

Prog Folk

4.05 | 3 ratings

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ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk Researcher
4 stars The first time I saw and heard this CD I wasn’t too impressed. In fact, on first sight it looks like some sort of college indie private label affair made by a hippie chick and her boyfriend. Turns out it’s a pretty decent and modern prog folk offering though, featuring a surprising variety of sounds, a dearth of musicians, and some trippy lyrical themes about space and the infinity of being and metaphysical stuff like that. In other words, a great album to listen to at dusk on a cool spring evening high in the northern hemisphere. And in that context right now, I am enjoying this listen immensely.

About half of this band is the same people who released an album under the name Viima in 2006. I’m not sure what the relationships are between the two groups, who is in which band or even whether it really makes any difference, just thought that was worth mentioning. This album is much less grounded musically than that one in case you’re keeping score at home. And I mean that in a good way.

The vocals (almost all female) are in Finnish but there are English translations in the liner notes. No matter, I wouldn’t take them too seriously in either language; if you’ve ever been twenty-something with some discretionary time and feelings of artistic freedom you’ve had some of these same thoughts yourself, so thematically there’s nothing new here, but that’s okay because the emotions are honest and that counts for something.

Musically this is folk-leaning, maybe even leaning far enough to be classified as ‘steeped in folk’. Flute, gorgeously off-kilter and mournful violin, hazy organ and spastic drums, plus the obligatory acoustic guitar and some unambitious bass. Oh yeah, and I should mention also three mellotrons (and thus qualifying it for the coveted “awash with” modifier). These offer up what sounds like mostly more strings, some choir sounds, and a piano or spinet (or some sort of strident key-driven thing).

Most of the tracks consist of whining violin (or whatever it is – more on that topic later), delicate flute and organ with various unidentifiable mellotron sounds wafting in and out amid the languid female singers. You get the picture – earthy and spacey and very, very laid back. Spark a fatty Spicoli! The closing “Seitsemän planeetta” is the exception with some rather heavy electric guitar, congas and a pulsating rhythm to bring things to a brisk and energetic close.

This is a very unassuming album that takes a while to get into your head. I have to say that Päivi Kylmänen’s vocals and guest artist Jukka Aaltonen’s exquisite violin really make the whole thing work. That is, it’s either a violin or the guy who’s playing the shrutibox, an instrument I don’t know anything about but which looks like an accordion inside a briefcase and which might also be responsible for some what sounds like off-key violin. Whichever it is, it’s beautiful – listen to “Seireeni” alone and you’ll be hooked by the sounds this/these instrument(s) make.

This CD is also available on vinyl, although be prepared to shell out about $40 USD if you can find it (I think that’s about 2 euros these days for those trying to do the math in their head). A highly recommended album for fans of prog folk, plain folk, contemporary mild psych, and probably some others I failed to mention. Four stars, which surprises even me since I was going to give it two after hearing it for the first time. Well, never judge a book or an album by its cover or first impression.

peace

ClemofNazareth | 4/5 |

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