New World and Folk Music from Finland

Get to know the most exciting new world and folk music from Finland! 

The Finnish music scene is more diverse than ever, with traditional music styles and instruments shaking hands with modern soundscapes and other genres. The artists featured on the playlist range from Jaakko Laitinen & Väärä Raha's balkan grooves to Joonas Widenius Trio's flamenco jazz and Maija Kauhanen's music inspired by Finnish and Karelian traditions. 

This Spotify and Apple Music based playlist is updated frequently. Scroll down fro artist info!

Related Artists

Anne-Mari Kivimäki

Anne-Mari Kivimäki is a musician, composer and lyricist, with the accordion at the core of her creativity. She is the founder of several bands including the boundary pushing duo Puhti, experimental electronic group Suistamon Sähkö, and Anne-Mari Kivimäki & Palomylly​.​ ​S​he has created multi-disciplinary artworks featuring the accordion and developed a new style of playing: a contemporary Karelian accordion trance.

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Faarao Pirttikangas

Faarao Pirttikangas aka Pekka Pirttikangas is a singer-songwriter known from several line-ups such as Cosmo Jones Beat Machine and Astro Can Caravan. With the folk and soul sounds Faarao Pirttikangas plays his music with a playful confidence.

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Teija Niku

Memento is the second solo album by accordionist Teija Niku of Helsinki, Finland. Her debut album, Finsko Pajdusko, was built around Balkan folk music, but the musical offering on the new album is more expansive, particularly highlighting Niku as a composer and arranger. At the center of Memento are her accordion and vocals, complemented by top-flight Finnish jazz and folk musicians.

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Markku Lepistö

Markku Lepistö is a folk accordionist with over 30 years of music career. His skills on both diatonic and chromatic accordians have been recognized worldwide. In addition to Markku's solo albums his playing can also be heard on many tracks by Finnish artists.

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Tuuletar

Tuuletar is a vocal performance group, consisting of four diverse women from Finland. The quartet takes influences from all around the world, inspired by sounds from American hip hop to South Asian folk, all while keeping their feet strongly rooted in Finnish language and musical heritage. Following the release of their debut "Tules Maas Vedes Taivaal" the group toured across the world. Tuuletar's 2nd album "Rajatila/Borderline" was released in May 2019.

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Ma Rouf

MA Rouf is the latest project of the Finnish-Iranian Kurd master musician Marouf Majidi. Taking tar, tanbour lutes and vocals as a starting point, the quartet consisting of Majidi (tar/vocals), Jouni Järvelä (saxophone), (Jukka Haavisto (bass) and Mikko Hassinen (percussions) plays jazz and world fusion with scandinavian influences yet staying true to the Middle Eastern heritage.

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Helsinki-Cotonou Ensemble

In 2012, three Finnish musicians travelled to Cotonou, Benin, discovered a shared musical language with local players and voilá: the critically acclaimed and dancefloor grooving ensemble was born. ”Weather Report meets Fela”, a reviewer from fRoots described Helsinki-Cotonou Ensemble’s debut album Beaucoup de Piment (2013), hitting the nail on the head: jazz, funk, and afrobeat are the main ingredients in the band’s ferocious groove.

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Antti Paalanen

Crazy accordion experimentalist Antti Paalanen has created his own sound with his diatonic instrument and he uses it to weave hypnotic and minimalistic tunes that tell stories about the world of today. On his songs Paalanen screams at his accordion, kicks the floor and hits the bellows. Alongside his solo career, Antti Paalanen is a member of several folk music line-ups such as Hehkumo, Hyperborea, Laitakaupungin- orkesteri, Kiharakolmio, Trepaanit and Turkka ja Paalanen.

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VILDÁ

Duo VILDÁ combines mystical yoiks, swinging rhythms and improvisation in a fascinating way. Yoik singer Hilda Länsman and accordion player Viivi Maria Saarenkylä's music is influenced by contemporary pop music and Finnish folk music. They've performed on various occasions from concerts to film screenings, etc. The band has also appeared internationally, among others the Carrefour Mondial de l'Accordéon Festival in Canada, the world's largest accordion festival.

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Pekko Käppi & K:H:H:L

Pekko Käppi & K:H:H:L music deals with love, death Finnish voodoo and archaic grooves. Trio's frontman, Pekko Käppi is a visionary Finnish folk music composer, singer and jouhikko player (bowed lyre). The group's cross-genre approach has led them to perform on a wide variety of festivals around the world, ranging from Holland's Roadburn to WOMEX, and Kaustinen Folk Music Festival to metal festival Tuska Open Air.

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Áššu

Ulla Pirttijärvi & Áššu base their music on traditional Sami Joik. Ulla Pirttijärvi joiks about her relatives and her home villages Utsjoki and Angeli. Olav Torget and Harald Skullerud complement the ensemble with string instruments and percussions. The ensemble draw further inspiration from West African grooves and tradition. They vary their expression from wide atmospheres and quiet moods all the way to more uptempo grooves.

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Pauanne

Kukka Lehto (violin, keyboards), Tero Pennanen (Hammond B3, keyboards) and Janne Haavisto (drums, percussion) form Pauanne, whose music combines compositions with archived tapes. The trio draws influences from old beliefs and traditions. Their self-titled debut album was released by Nordic Notes.

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Jaakko Laitinen & Väärä Raha

Jaakko Laitinen & Väärä Raha's music is an interesting combination of Balkan Roma grooves, Russian romances and old Finnish tango and humppa. The group, established in 2009, has won recognition and released three critically acclaimed albums, and also become very on-demand live act due to their wild live performances.

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Teho.

Fiddle duo Esko Järvelä and Tero Hyväluoma combine Finnish spelman music, Swedish polska, bebop and swing in their music.

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Hannu Kella & Timo Alakotila

Mingled Years is a collaborative album by Hannu Kella (accordion) and Timo Alakotila (piano). The idea for collaboration sparked already in 2005, and the songs were composed by Kella and Alakotila over the years.

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Sole Azul

Sole Azul was started in 2017 by Harri Kuusijärvi, Pauli Lyytinen and Eero Tikkanen in Azul, Argentina after a group of thieves stole the band’s instruments in broad daylight. The trio promises to “rip tango out by the roots and plant it in the Nordic permafrost”. Drawing on the stylistics of jazz, the group performs both tango-inspired originals and new arrangements of existing tangos.

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Tsuumi Sound System

Tsuumi Sound System is a dynamic modern folk music group consisting of eight musicians with very different backgrounds. Filed under "Nordic Urban Ethno", the eight-piece combines their various world music nuances and influences with the Finnish tradition. Add Tsuumi Sound System's original compositions, outrageous energy and virtuosity and their somewhat unusual instrumentation to the mix and you have a unique musical blend.

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Tuomas Palonen

Tuomas Palonen has a long history in Finnish indie music scene with bands like Cosmobile and Kuparilinna. His eponymous solo debut (2018), which was also nominated for the highly valued Teosto Prize this year, has been called a "mystical, masterful blend of Finnish folk music and Anglo-American folk tradition, caught up in history and present, tradition and personality."

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Suistamon Sähkö

Suistamon Sähkö performs new Karelian dance music with electronics, Russian toy accordion, power of song, rap and manic moves. Crazy music scientists Anne-Mari Kivimäki and Eero Grundström create new Suistamo dance music with a Notka accordion and electronics. Add two dancing vocalists Reetta-Kaisa Iles and Tuomas Juntunen and this visual folktronica act will make you dance yourself into a trance.

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Juurakko

Formed in 2011, Juurakko is a quintet whose instrumentation consists of kantele, harmonium, bowed lyre, guitar and some utility articles modified into percussion instruments. The lyrics spring from old texts from Finnish mythology as well as from everyday life.

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Sväng

After 14 years of touring and six albums, harmonica quartet Sväng decided to re-record songs from their vast repertoire of nordic dance grooves, tangos and balkan rhythms. In addition to old favorites, their latest release Hauptbahnhof also features a kopanitsa (a bulgarina traditional dance in 11/16 rhythm), a finnish polska and a re-arrangement of John Williams' Hedwig's theme from Harry Potter.

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