Frigg : FrixxRelease : 31 January 2020
There is no need to shuffle through a thesaurus looking for the right noun to capture the mettle of Frigg's music - Frixx confirms only 'verve' meets the requirement. There is such spirit and animation in these recordings that no other word will do.
The life-affirming Finish fiddle band have marked two decades together with this release. Frixx is a righteous celebration of their collective craft. It is a festival of contrasting moods, as torrents of dam-bursting energy are balanced with long, sublime moments of Scandinavian melancholy.
Frixx takes an immediate hold of your soul and doesn't let go until the last note has faded.
The enchanting arrangements are built around a quartet of fiddle players; Tommi Asplund, Tero Hyväluoma and two siblings, Alina and Esko Järvelä. This vibrant core is augmented by the melodic finesse of Petri Prauda (cittern and mandolin) and Anssi Salminen (guitar). Juho Kivivuori's double bass is a rhythmic thread through a world of lavish instrumental majesty.
The album opens with Juhlamarassi, a stately, baroque march, before the rolling joy of Early Bird heralds a looser intent, the music dipping and soaring with the freedom of a shearwater skimming over the sea.
Frixx holds ten further slices of delight, reaching an understated creative peak with the evocative atmosphere of Saatto, before settling elegantly to a close with VEP, a pastoral waltz dedicated to Petri Prauda’s daughter.
Frigg’s sound has been described as Nordgrass - a fusion of bluegrass and Nordic folk, grounded in the Kaustinen fiddle tradition. Inventive, infectious and full of devilment - however precisely the music’s roots are located in place its appeal cannot be geographically bound; Frixx is an album that will bring the light and warmth of spring to the darkest of winter nights wherever it is listened to.
FRIGG I Early Bird