Words by Fiona Talkington
A touch of Howlin’ Wolf, hints of anarchic fiddle playing, traditional Baltic runo song, and a jumping minuet: prepare yourself for the latest journey into the unknown from those frolicsome and feisty Finns, Sväng. The territory here is often quite scary, but scarily good. Armed with their harmonicas they venture over borders recollecting historical conflicts, entwining us in age-old love stories – ever inventive – as we shift a little uncertainly in our seats and then give in to the helpless state we find ourselves in, thanks to the efforts of such wild and wonderful musical minds.
‘Kyytiläinen’ (The Captured Passenger), which wrestles with the story of post Finnish civil war relationships, deserves world-wide fame for its stunning melody. It’s moving and invigorating: surely there must be a TV series somewhere crying out for a truly memorable theme? ‘Karja-La’ celebrates Karelia, home of the Kalevala, and they say it’s a utopia where the quadrille is still danced. Sväng are just four creative, energetic, brilliant, off-the-wall guys who play harmonicas together. Listen, and then dream with them.
Track to Try: ‘Kyytiläinen’