11 July 2008

Music that is weird in a traditional way

One of my favorite bands is one that I'd bet none of you have heard of. (I wouldn't bet a lot, mind, but maybe 25 cents.) I love Hedningarna, a Swedish band that plays music based in traditional Scandinavian folk music, played on traditional instruments mostly, with twists and updates from other music traditions including rock. I am also into Wimme, a joiker. (Joiking is hard to explain, but there are samples below.)

I first ran into their music because one of their albums has a picture of a log with big nails sticking out of it and I was buying a gift for a spiky-log kind of guy. This track was the first of theirs I heard. It has a pair of Finnish women singing in a traditional pair-of-women style. I wish I could embed the whole track instead of just a clip, because the way the song builds slowly at the beginning is amazing.

This song has Wimme as a guest artist joiking.

This is more traditional than the other two, based more directly on folk music of Karelia (a region of Finland that ended up in the USSR and had been cut off from contact for a long time)

Wimme joiks very conventionally on this track.

And this one has a modern instrumental setting for the joiking.

If you want more information on these two or on similar artists, check out North Side Records. I like Gjallarhorn and Garmarna, too.

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