VALMA & VARSINAISET
FINNISH FOLK/POP BAND
Valma & Varsinaiset (2010-) is known for their captivating on-stage performance and haunting storytelling. Their music and lyrics are based on something profoundly Finnish: honesty, solemnity and humor. Their songs are mainly written by the lead singer and pianist Vilma Talvitie, and the band has together created fresh arrangements out of them. One of the most distinctive elements of Valma & Varsinaiset's sound is their heavenly singing harmonies. The band has published three albums: Tuli talvi, ei tahottu in 2012, Jalat alta in 2015 and Laulaja vailla ääntä in 2018.
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ALBUM REVIEW, published 23 Aug 2018
Laulaja vailla ääntä: Light and deep folk
An unashamedly wonderful album: light and deep at the same time. -Amanda Kauranne
The title of this album is enough to invite one to reflect, and the deep thought processes continue when the pressures of a straight A girl are brought into the spotlight, when lifelong melancholia resonates in the low frequencies of the double bass, but also when the happy tidings of sexual liberation are briskly announced in multiple languages.
The third full-length recording by the five-piece ensemble proves that the era of themed albums is not over: delving into the feelings of shame and the processes of getting rid of them results in uncompromising and playful songs with a message. The stories start small and as each piece progresses, its tunes and lyrics open up inner worlds where listeners are surprised to find themselves, suddenly moved to tears.
The album's rhythms, sounds and lyrics often follow different traditional forms - closely but not perfectly. It is precisely these small deviations that make the music so delightful and fascinating. It sounds both familiar and new at the same time; it holds on to the freedom of the singer-songwriter tradition. Some of the arrangements are painted with generous brush strokes in true film music style: the string parts provide colour to the overall mood while the Eurovision-style modulations bring power into the mix. The vocal harmonies and the versatile acoustic instrumentation illustrate each song's unique character through the musicians' capable interpretations.
Amanda Kauranne, (translation Hanna-Mari Latham)
Valma & Varsinaiset on lajissaan ainutlaatuinen. Vastaavanlaista soljuvan sujuvaa ja teksteiltään miellyttävää yhteyttä ei Suomesta kovin helpolla löydy. Laulaja vailla ääntä on hieno ja monipuolinen levy, jolla laulaja-muusikko-säveltäjä Talvitie laulaa kenties paremmin kuin koskaan. Levylle päätynyt musiikki on alusta loppuun komeata kuultavaa.
-Velimatti Henttonen, Salon seudun sanomat 2018
Top picture Alina Ainola