(2020 - Bafe's Factory - Finland)
The most gentle album I have ever heard. A collection of songs so sacred and filled with whispers from a traditional place, and at the same instance, this protective shelter brings about resolve and a cleanse from stress. Reverie and weightless, once buried in this music, you become wealthy with peace of mind.
Inka Niemi describes her music in several ways, including "ambient meets modern lullabies". Specifically it is compositions bringing together the Finnish lullaby tradition with mystical ambient, using dreamy vocals, nature sounds, and sparse instrumentation. Much of the music is written by Niemi and all of the lyrics are. A handful of tunes are actually traditionals. Each piece is transcendent and mythical in atmosphere. It is difficult to explain in words how delicately gorgeous these compositions are. This is a personal recording, or perhaps one to be shared with your mate, when you both are worn out from life's curses.
The musicians are: Inka Niemi (vocals), Janne Storm (piano, guitar and setara), Venla Ilona Blom (backing vocals), Suvi Eevi Karhu (concert kantele), Eero Nurmela (guitar), Olli Puolakka (double bass), Mari Talala (flugehorn), Outi Pajukallio (concert kantele), Lassi Ylonen (drums), and Tero Holopainen (strings, guitar and bouzouki). They create pillows of angel hair where the dreams float freely and visions happen under a blue moon. The album is so quiet, it commands calm headspace for the listener. The past, present, and future are all linked in these beautiful works. Time seems far less incarcerated in 'Spirals', as the mind is allowed to roam, while still feeling safe in a cocoon. It is as you have all the time in the world.
This is beauty beyond piety. One can easily understand the reasons Niemi talks about the comfort and escape from anxiety, stress, and other grief that the lullaby can provide. She gives further information as to the reasons she feels so strong about these songs in the inside of the nice 6 panel CD package, and all lyrics are translated from Finnish to English in the included booklet. The cover speaks well as to what you hear in the music. Obviously not a disc for crowds or parties, but one for intimate meditation, inner healing, and retreat from harsh reality. The album ends with Niemi whispering into nearly nothingness. This is yoga for the ears.
©Reviewed by Lee Henderson 2 - 24 - 2020