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Akkajee — Lastenkerääjä
(Eclipse Music AKKACD-002, 2021, CD / LP / DL)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2021-10-05

Lastenkerääjä Cover art

Finnish duo Meriheini Luoto (nyckelharpa, vocals, etc.) and Lida Saviolainen (viola, vocals, etc.) AKA Akkajee take old forests, rotten twisted roots, and decaying leaves and swirl that all into their cauldron of Finnish folklore to create a very interesting album of six haunting songs on their new album Lastenkerääjä (Child Collector). Many years ago fairy tales were used to scare children into proper behavior, before these stories mellowed and lost the terror with time.  The songs on Lastenkerääjä revive some of these tales. The title track is about an old codger who collects naughty children in his sack. “Yönitkettäjä” is about wicked spirits who keep infants awake at night. “Orpopojan valssi” is a ballad based on an orphaned Finnish boy in the 1930s. “Hys hys hymylään” is a journey to a mysterious realm of unsolved riddles, including excerpts from several short Finnish poems. “Äidin itku” is a mother’s lament including lyrics by Anna Buššin from 1931. And the album ends with “Syntymä,” a set of instructions on childbirth to avoid labor pains by incorporating excerpts of several childbirth spells: drink horse sweat mixed in coffee or booze and thread yourself through a horse collar three times while reciting the Lord’s Prayer backward three times.  The music is a combination of rustic acoustic, acid folk, and industrial ambiance that twist and turn in unusual, whimsical, and interesting ways. The different stories (songs) provide a wealth of layers and voices for an enjoyable listening experience.

Filed under: New releases, 2021 releases

Related artist(s): Akkajee

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