If Värttinä had never recorded another album after ‘iki’ in 2003 their achievement would have been momentous, an unrivalled catalogue celebrating a tradition, in performances of unrivalled brilliance. Maybe that’s why Miero has such an incredible effect, sweeping us off our feet with an unexpected surge of creativity that has dug deeper into that ancient tradition, taking our breath away, and stretching the song-writing genius of Värttinä further than we ever thought it might go, with a vocal range previously untapped and blinding instrumentals.
One of the great contemporary folk acts of our time
Finlands Varttina are one of the great contemporary folk acts of our time. Miero opens with a snarling stormer and continues with everyday tales of gossip, infanticide, falsehoods (rolled around the forked Finnish tongue), the banished and the generally vengeful and venomous… Brilliant in their darkness, artfulness and flashes of light. If they weren’t already involved in Tolkienesque fantasy, hacks would go blond fantasising
Record Collector (UK)
Accessible and somewhat exotic
What has helped to make Värttinä so popular in Britain and North America is that their music is both accessible and somewhat exotic. It really sounds like something from between the British Isles and further east. The instruments used are familiar, but the vocal style, rhythms and melodies are just different enough to make the whole combination more exciting.
Sing Out! (USA)