Review | Songlines


Rating: ★★★★

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Album and Artist Details






Akkajee are a Finnish band of two akkas, a term they define as a ‘head-strong woman with a decisive attitude and a sharp tongue.’ The word originates from the broader mythology of Akka – a female spirit in traditional Sámi and Finnish mythology. Bringing together nyckelharpa, viola and layered vocals alongside self-made instruments, Akkajee’s second album is a dark and immersive dive into Finnish folklore and folk tales. It has an otherworldly feel throughout; veering from the floaty and fairy-like to the jagged and devilish. This often happens within a single piece, as on ‘Yönitkettäjä’, which features lyrics from traditional Finnish poetry describing wicked spirits who keep children awake at night.

While the title-track is without doubt the catchiest song on the album (at times it has the immediate feel of a drinking song), ‘Hys Hys Hymylään’ is my favourite composition overall. Its strangeness and abrupt ending is characteristic of the bravery and freshness of Akkajee’s approach. Above all else, it’s this bravery – and the sense of conviction that comes with it – that impresses me most. Lastenkerääjä is a heady potion, but if you can swallow it, it works.

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