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Vildá is a Finnish duo that features traditional joik singing and accordion, and is the creation of “Arctic fells, frosty winds, wide waters and deep forests.” Acclaimed Sámi musician Hildá Länsman is from Utsjoke in the northern region of Finland. Viivi Maria Saarenkylä is an award-winning accordionist who also hails from northern Finland. After meeting in a global music class, they decided to combine their world-class singing and musicianship.
Vildá’s debut album ‘Vildaluodda’ combined contemporary pop with traditional Finnish folk, all “mystical yoiks, swinging rhythms and improvisation”. The result is as enchanting as it is unique; there’s a shamanic element to many of their songs, and they conjure both a deep sense of history and the remote wilderness the Sámi call home. The band says, “The North is our home… a source of inspiration, stories and tradition…yet also the place where we feel the safest and most rooted.”
But there’s a modern edge to their work too, a reimagining of what folk music can be or do – witness the beat underpinning ‘Utsjoki-disko’, or the drone-like tones of ‘Talvisalo’. And they’re reaching new audiences; having already played WOMEX and several prominent Canadian festivals, they won a Music Moves Europe Talent Award last year. But giving such a rich, cultural heritage a new lease of life – and new set of devotees – is the best prize of all!