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

Antti Paalanen

Accordion experimentalist Antti Paalanen has created his own sound with his diatonic instrument, which he uses 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.

Read more

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.

Read more

Perttula

Toni Perttula is a musical blacksmith whose open-minded experimentation with diverse musical styles and genres has forged a path towards creating his own unique musical approach and identity. PERTTULA ́s lyrical accordion playing is accompanied by the primal, rhythmic beating of hammers and anvils found in a blacksmith's workshop, inviting the listener into a new world where sounds are melted and manipulated by a musical blacksmith into a whole new form.

Read more

Pekko Käppi

Pekko Käppi is a visionary Finnish folk music composer, ethnomusicologist, runo-song researcher, member of the groundbreaking revivalists Jouhiorkesteri and album-award-winning solo artist. His oeuvre revolutionized the standards of playing the ancient Finnish instrument jouhikko, a bowed lyre, by plugging it into an amplifier.

Read more

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.

Read more

Akkajee

Consisting of Iida Savolainen (viola, vocals, stomp box) and Meriheini Luoto (nyckelharpa, vocals), Akkajee calls themselves "a band of two 'akkas' (which translates to "a head strong woman with a decisive attitude and a sharp tongue") creating string noise on the rotten roots of Finnish folk tradition". Their layered aesthetics invite you to the world of frozen lakes, haunting nightmares and the ancient mystery of giving birth. The vocal and instrumental storytelling varies from intimate to fierce seasoned with pulsating beats and floating soundscapes.

Read more

Ilkka Heinonen Trio

Ilkka Heinonen Trio combines the ancient sounds of the Finnish jouhikko (bowed lyre) with a diverse range of contemporary influences, pushing the instrument into exciting new musical territories. Ilkka Heinonen leads from the jouhikko with echoes of old traditional melodies juxtaposed by contemporary improvisation and newly developed techniques for the instrument. Nathan Riki Thomson’s double bass provides earthy grooves and subtle textures with influences from Africa to Nordic lands, all complimented by the virtuosic percussive pallet of Mikko Hassinen on drums and electronics.

Read more

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.

Read more

Värttinä

One of the most internationally successful acts to emerge from the contemporary Finland music scene, Värttinä revitalized the nation's folk traditions with an aggressive and modern style that eschewed not only the costumes of their ancestors but also the long-accepted cultural notion that women should sing unaccompanied.

Read more

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.

Read more

The Riddiments

Charlotte Curves & The Riddiments is a reggae band based in Finland, with a long experience in the genre. The band members have played in live bands of international reggae stars such as Luciano, Peetah Morgan and Anthony B. The Riddiments' first single Superpower was released in 2020 and second single Dreamer in early 2021.

Read more

Gájanas

Gájanas combines ethnic progressive music with Sámi joik. The band members are Hildá Länsman (also known from the groups Vildá and Solju), Nicholas Francett, Kevin Francett and Erkki Feodoroffare, all hailing from Utsjoki and Inari in Northern Finland. In Gájanas' music, echoes of Sámi tradition encounter present moment and form a colourful combination. One can also hear a dialogue between the traditional and modern Sámi music., as well as a strong emphasize to the nature connection of the Sámi people.

Read more

Ánnámáret Ensemble

Ánnámáret Ensemble combines Sámi singing tradition with acoustic folk music adding some spices from melodic pop and classical music to it. The group consists of vocalist and composer Anna Näkkäläjärvi-Länsman, who is joined by renowned folk musicians Johanna Juhola (accordion), Ilkka Heinonen (contrabass), Sami Kurppa (keyboards) and Janne Lappalainen (bouzouki, guitar).

Read more

Marjo Smolander

North Karelian artist Marjo Smolander combines her Finnish folk music roots to the elements of musics from Senegal and Mali creating unique musical cosmology. She plays Finnish instrument kantele and sings. Her debut album will be released in January 2021. In 2020, Smolander collaborated with experimental musician Heikki Lindgren on the album "Ambient Experimentations: Tube Noise Generator and Forest Recordings with kantele".

Read more

Sväng

Ever since Sväng was established, traditional tunes from Finland and other countries have been a part of its repertoire alongside original compositions. After years of playing and touring together and releasing 8 albums, the band released "In Trad We Trust" in 2020, their first album featuring only Finnish traditional music. It pays homage to Finnish folk music in its various forms: the ancient runo-singing tradition, kantele and jouhikko playing, a huge diversity of vocal styles and the instrumental virtuosity of the younger pelimanni music tradition.

Read more

Ensemble Gamut!

Ensemble Gamut! is a fresh, experimental collective of early music and folk music specialists, constantly searching for new ways to perform early music. They combine historical instruments and electronics in an innovative way, and have created their own unique world of sounds using medieval and renaissance music, Finnish folk tunes, improvisation and modern soundscapes. Ensemble Gamut! has performed extensively from club gigs to museums, medieval churches and concert halls. Their debut album, UT was released in 2020.

Read more

Zäpämmät

The Zäpämmät duo, consisting of Marjo Smolander and Pauliina Kauppila, were inspired by the different ways of producing sound both with their own voices and with instruments and began to reconstruct Marjo’s compositions anew, Marjo on her Finnish kantele and Pauliina her hands and feet occupied by all kinds of imaginable sound-producing devices. In this way Zäpämmät brings the audience their beautiful and rugged songs and music.

Read more

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 in 2019, which was followed by the collaborative album "Barely Ann-Mari" with singer-songwriter Irina Björklund in 2020.

Read more

Ikiranka

Saxophonist Joakim Berghäll and keyboardist Juha Kujanpää had their duo Ikiranka expanded to trio form as sound designer Teemu Korpipää joined the group. The self-titled debut includes carefully selected traditional songs from both Finland and Sweden, amongst original compositions. Ikiranka calls their listener to stop and seize the moment. The album speaks out on the hectic modern life.

Read more

Kusinerna Riippa

The cousins Niko and Jessica Riippa, whose Swedish band name naturally translates to "the Riippa cousins", form the Finnish-swedish duo with roots in the village of Nedervetil on the west coast of Finland. Jessica has a degree in both music and drama and Niko is the founder and guitarist of Wentus Blues Band. The duo's debut album made new arrangements to old Swedish folksongs but also made new compositions to texts by the poet Alexander Slotte. Jessica and Niko have taken these poems and made new modern folksongs, on which their fondness to their hometown can be heard.

Read more

Julia Adal

Julia Adal is a singer-songwriter and producer from Finland, living in Medellín, Colombia. Her music has influences of indie folk, pop and soul as well as world music. She started writing songs and playing concerts when living in Prague, Czechia. All three places have influenced Julia Adal's song writing.

Read more

Piirainen / Blom / Company

Acclaimed solo guitarist J-P Piirainen founded this duo with beatboxer and singer Venla Ilona Blom, known from the accapella group Tuuletar, in 2018. Their musical roots are deep in Nordic folk music even though using highly modern instruments and sounds.

Read more

Frankosun and the Family

Although debuting on record in 2020, this alliance of African and Finnish musicians has been active since 2013. The band's music ranges from both intensely rhythmic 70s and 80s Beninese/Nigerian styles of afrobeat to more floating and relaxing afro funk and afro rock. Singer-percussionist Frankosun (Franck Koumolou) hails from Benin, the birthplace of Voodoo where he was born into a Nago-family, a group of people known for their voodoo masks and rhythms influenced by Egoun goun-, Zangbeto-, Guèlède- and Tchango-cultures.

Read more

Tapani Rinne

Saxophone and clarinet player Tapani Rinne. Inspired by the playing of percussionist Edward Vesala, Rinne formed jazz/techno band RinneRadio in 1988. Later, Rinne joined with RinneRadio bandmate Jari Kokkonen and acoustic string player Matti Wallenius to provide instrumental accompaniment for modern Yoik singer Wimme Saari on his album, Wimme, in 1997. Rinne released his debut solo album, Insider, in 1999.

Read more

Maria Kalaniemi & Eero Grundström

On the album Svalan Maria Kalaniemi, a master of free-bass button accordion joins forces with harmonium player Eero Grundström. The record contains Finnish-Swedish ballads, songs about the sea, passionate tangoes, frenzied minuets from Jepua, Kalaniemi’s own compositions and lyrical moods of contemplation.

Read more

Mikko Heikinpoika

Mikko Heikinpoika is a vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and music producer. He is a part of the new wave of live musicians who strive to create powerful performance experiences through merging acoustic and electronic and combining ancient vocal techniques with live looping.

Read more

Frigg

Frigg has been conquering the world with a fusion of western folk music styles leaning strongly towards Nordic folk music, for which the world music media has coined the term nordgrass, referring to the bluegrass influences of the group. In 2017, the eight album by Frigg, “Frost on Fiddles”, has seen the light of the day.

Read more