Paavoharju, Yhä hämärää

Chris Nickson

By Chris Nickson

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Yhä hämärää

Born-again Christians from rural Finland channel Air and the Incredible String Band.

If many artists lean heavily on tradition for folk music, Paavoharju — born-again Christians from rural Finland — fall heavily into the nu-folk camp. They sound almost as if someone had thrown together Air and the Incredible String Band: wispy, psychedelic shreds of sound, from the singing of a church congregation to burbling streams, merge to create deliciously breathy songs that bridge the gap between folk and pop, dissonance and melody weaving together. From the shifting soundscape of "Ikuisuuden Maailma" to the gentle earnestness of "Valu Tikhuu Kaiken Läpi" seems a short, natural step. It's an album that needs to be heard as an entity to be fully drawn into the journey through their slightly elfin, hypnotic world. Even in its breathiness it has an ineffably Finnish quality, with an icy, alien beauty. The words might be incomprehensible to most, but it doesn't matter — the glow the group leaves behind goes far beyond language.