Your browser does not support our new site design, so some things might not display or function properly.
We suggest upgrading to Google Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer 9+ for the optimal experience.

Tuuletar

Vetten vuoro / Turn of the Tide (2021)

4.7

July 30, 2021

Tuning / Blend 5.0
Energy / Intensity 5.0
Innovation / Creativity 5.0
Soloists 4.7
Sound / Production 5.0
Repeat Listenability 4.7
Tracks
1 Pohjanpalo / Polar Night 4.7
2 Vetten vuoro / Turn of the Tide 4.7
3 Taival / Passage 4.7

Recorded 2020
Total time: 6:56, 3 songs


Tuning / Blend 5
Energy / Intensity 5
Innovation / Creativity 5
Soloists 5
Sound / Production 5
Repeat Listenability 5
Tracks
1 Pohjanpalo / Polar Night 5
2 Vetten vuoro / Turn of the Tide 5
3 Taival / Passage 5

Tuuletar's latest is the soundtrack to a movie I haven't seen, that may not exist and that probably isn't long enough. There's no other easy way to summarize the feel of these three tracks. They are distinct and they flow together. They are timeless and they are over in a flash. There are four voices that feel like the world.

The immediate and the numinous coexist wonderfully here. The solo voice and building choral lines of title track Vetten vuoro / Turn of the Tide contrast marvelously with the pounding beats and sense of journey from Pohjanpalo / Polar Night. The first track feels like flying over a vast and mysterious landscape. The second, the voice of the people who live and journey through there. The third track is perhaps the work song, although working at what I could not say. There are no words here, only feelings and whatever imagery that implants on each listener's mind.

Singing itself spans multitudes in these three short tracks. The ensemble members bring a wide range of vocal textures, from modern folk to extreme descants to chord clusters that sound like a Bulgarian women's choir wandered in for a quick cameo. As with the stunning Rajatila / Borderline, this music takes what you bring to it and makes something totally new, thanks to the vision and hard work of the artists who put it together.


Tuning / Blend 5
Energy / Intensity 5
Innovation / Creativity 5
Soloists 4
Sound / Production 5
Repeat Listenability 4
Tracks
1 Pohjanpalo / Polar Night 4
2 Vetten vuoro / Turn of the Tide 4
3 Taival / Passage 4

Reviewing Vetten vuoro presents a unique challenge: what is music for? Popular music of the last hundred years implies one kind of answer, but Tuuletar's music suggests another. The three-track EP feels like a beautiful soundtrack, but for what? Perhaps a cinematic event. Perhaps a live concert event. Perhaps a dance piece. Perhaps an experience solely within the listener's imagination. Is it ok to leave that question unanswered? For music historians and theorists, Vetten vuoro may even spark debates about absolute music  — the value of music not being about anything at all. But here, Vetten vuoro surely does feel like it's about something. All three tracks feel narrative, evocative, emotional, dramatic ... just absent specifics. Is that a failing? It depends on how you engage with music. If you seek songs, you'll be frustrated. If you seek a wordless, leadless soundtrack of beautiful, intense Nordic women's voices and their resonant percussive additions, a combination that could easily provide the score to the next installment of Witcher or Game of Thrones, a score to conjure your own vision of the heroine's journey, then you've found the perfect artistic cue.

Tuuletar's musicians provide some commentary, calling the EP an "attempt to musically capture the tranquilising and empowering support that (human) nature provides us during the times of change." While it's interesting to learn about an artist's experience and motivation, it isn't always reflective of an average listener's reaction. Nothing about these three tracks specifically conjures the descriptive words the artists use. They could have just as easily, and persuasively said, "These songs are the musical expression of the Three Horse Gods as they travel the great plains, battling the dark forces of Drakklau in search of Equinoor, the Magic Chalice of Horse Divinity." In other words, while the listener will feel emotion, there's exceptionally broad latitude in interpreting what that emotion might be about. 

Venla Ilona Blom pens both Pohjanpalo (Polar Night) and Taival (Passage) while the title track, Vetten vuoro (Turn of the Tide) is by Sini Koskelainen. But with recording/mixing by Janne Oinas, mastering by Pauli Saastamoinen/Finnvox, artistic production by Samuli Laiho and Janne Oinas, and executive production by Jyri Lehtonen/Bafe's Factory, the tracks are as unified and cohesive as any release could be. The musical and sonic language is a constant and the quality is excellent. 

Musical tastes, and even the manner in which we engage with music are deeply personal choices. In an on-demand, instantly streaming, AI-enhanced world, there has never been more opportunity, or fewer barriers to personalize our musical experiences. Some listeners are passive, some active. Some treat all music as a soundtrack to their other activities, like workouts, driving, and studying. Others dive deep into the worlds created by their chosen musicians. For those seeking a powerful, cinematic sweep in their a cappella, Tuuletar will not disappoint. 


Tuning / Blend 5
Energy / Intensity 5
Innovation / Creativity 5
Soloists 5
Sound / Production 5
Repeat Listenability 5
Tracks
1 Pohjanpalo / Polar Night 5
2 Vetten vuoro / Turn of the Tide 5
3 Taival / Passage 5

I have one serious complaint about Vetten vuoro / Turn of the Tide: the EP is way too short. Clocking in at just about eight minutes, these three songs absolutely leave me wanting more. These songs also show quite a change in Tuuletar's sound since the last album I heard from the group, 2016's Tules Maas Vedes Taivaal; where the Tuuletar of yore was "vocal folk hop", this new recording really focuses more on ethereal folk soundscapes. The cover image for this EP is a beautiful visual to accompany the haunting sound of these three songs.

The first two tracks sound like they came from the score of a winter nature documentary and were likely heavily influenced by the isolation of the pandemic. They just sound like a walk alone through the snowy woods, and the bell-like soprano who opens Pohjanpalo / Polar Night absolutely sells the mood.

At the other end of the spectrum, the final song Vetten vuoro / Turn of the Tide sounds both like a celebration and a re-awakening. It's the perfect conclusion to this three-song arc, and it's also a fitting soundtrack to our own rebirth, as we all begin to venture slowly and cautiously back out into the world.


How To Get Your Work Reviewed

To have your album (2 or more tracks) reviewed by RARB, please fill out our online album registration form.

To have your digital single reviewed by RARB, please fill out our online singles registration form.

Feel free to email us if you have any questions.

×

Ordering Information

Vetten vuoro streams on Spotify

  • Amazon.com
  • iTunes
×