Tuesday, July 7, 2009

CD Review: Sofia Jannok Melts Hearts With 'By The Embers'

Sofia Jannok
By The Embers (Assogattis)
Caprice Records

Northern Sweden's Sofia Jannok presents us with an introspective look at the contemporary Sami culture. The sungs are sung in Sami and incorporate elements of yoik, which is akin to Native American chanting. Sofia's voice is accompanied by drums, guitar, piano, bass, trombone, trumpet, violin, viola, and cello. The region's close affinity with nature is mentioned in many of the songs. For those familiar with contemporary Nordic music, Sofia's songs are more structured than Gjallarhorn (Finland), less aggressive than Garmarna (Sweden), and more melodic than Angelit (Finland). This is purely a modern release that transcends age and culture. The music never delves into boring repetition, dance-beats, or other impediments found in too many world music releases. By The Embers is a heart-warming introduction to contemporary Sami music for the casual to advanced world music traveler. The liner notes include English and Sami song translations. ~ Matthew Forss

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