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Lapua-Uusi-Guinea — Virittää
(Eclipse Music ECD-2021144, 2021, CD / LP / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2021-11-18

Virittää Cover art

It was in the mid-90s or so that I discovered the deep well of Nordic folk music, both traditional and modernized. From Finland alone, there were Värttinä, Gjallarhorn, JPP, Troka, and Loituma, all presenting various flavors of folk music infused with varying degrees of more contemporary sounds. Lapua-Uusi-Guinea is a new group that is in the same stream, bringing together two fiddle players (Anna Kinnunen and Oona Yliperttula) with accordion (Jenna Hiipakka), piano (Santeri Kaipiainen), acoustic bass (Veli-Matti Silanterä), and guitar / mandolin (Aapo Nieminen). In some of the vocal parts, Värttinä may come to mind, and the multiple fiddles recall JPP, as does the hint of Classical music that’s sometimes heard. There are some more recent artists that also provide reference, like Juha Kujanpää and even a touch of Ensemble Gamut (though without the electronics). There are very slight hints of jazz at times, mostly in the piano, but I wouldn’t want to oversell that. Most of the tunes are full of rhythmic energy in spite of the lack of percussion, with the guitar strumming tricky rhythms which complement the melodies nicely. While the instrumental arrangements are the core of their sound, vocal parts show up in about half the tracks, and are superbly done, whether solo or lushly harmonized. Kinnunen and Kaipiainen are credited with the lead vocals, and several of the others provide backing. Virittää is highly recommended for fans of sophisticated acoustic music, especially those with an interest in Nordic folk.

Filed under: New releases, 2021 releases

Related artist(s): Lapua-Uusi-Guinea

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