The sea is a subject as old as time for bards whose songs have stretched across millennia to touch the hearts of the simple folk that surround and give purpose to their tradition. It is a subject that is no doubt all too familiar to Helsinki’s own Pyhä Kuolema as his rest is taken on the coasts of the Gulf of Finland in the East of the Baltic Sea. The track featured here, “Mustat Virrat”, translates to Black Currents, and one can’t help but feel the ageless melancholy in the lamenting voice of Pyhä as his simple strums and emotive vocal baritone paint desperate visions of ancient Scandinavian tides and the history that they carry. The presented song carries even more emotive weight by the approaching long Winter months — a time when an increasingly sun-forsaken Helsinki, in direct opposition to the whimsical nature of the album cover, will fall to darkness under clouded weather and shortened sunlight.
From the Label:
“Pyhä Kuolema (“Sacred Death”) is the solo project of Finnish neofolk renaissance man Mikko Pöyhönen (Tervahäät, Tuhat Kuolemaa Sekunnissa). The music is sparse in outward appearance yet lush and emotionally rich, sometimes reminiscent of some of the darkest Americana such as Townes Van Zandt but very Scandinavian at its core, with themes deeply rooted in Finland’s past and present.
Having debuted with the album Saavun Vaikken Kulkisi two years earlier, the second album Kevättuulisormi (“Spring Wind Finger”) is Pyhä Kuolema’s first for Svart Records. With Kevättuulisormi, Pyhä Kuolema eases its grip; the album tells of a still landscape, of building a home into a world which is not his own. The skeletal man with guitar has grown into rough neofolk schlager, which hails towards half-empty beer glasses and bursts of defiant laughter. This is dance without steps and wind without direction: the spring wind finger leafs through your pages!
Kevättuulisormi was recorded in Oulu, Finland in June 2013 at Katajan Kaiku Studios by Antti Haapapuro with vintage analog equipment. Kevättuulisormi will be available on CD, LP and digital download. The album is on Svart Records in Europe and on Pesanta Urfolk in North America.”