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Written in fRoots issue 372, June 2014


Tutl SHD 121 (2013)

Back in 2002 I reviewed a very good album by Alwa from southern Sweden that seemed to be in some ways a natural successor to the pioneering Skåne band Filarfolket. Alwa didn’t last long enough to break through, but now here’s Yölariis. It’s from the same area and with the same singer/fiddler, Anna Elwing, plus the strong team of Jens Ulvsand (of Avadå, Færd and Trio Mio) on bouzouki and two of Malmö’s excellent Alla Fagra: Dan Svensson on percussion, melodeon and cittern and bassist Per Knagg.
     This debut album is beautiful, a really significant release; no doubt the band will be a contender in the next Swedish folk and world awards. Great subtleties of dynamics and instrumental textures, a dark suppressed feel with Anna’s voice delicate, hushed and intimate, holding things close against intriguing distant echoing voices, tense pattering, sometimes releasing the pressure by swinging into a big, joyful lurch. Some of the material is traditional, but the majority is eloquent, fluid new compositions by band members.
     Please, Yölariis, keep this going long enough to make the impact it deserves.


© 2014 Andrew Cronshaw

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