Louisa Lyne & di Yiddishe Kapelye: Lust

Louisa Lyne’s art is inserting Yiddish songs into unexpected contexts. On her third album she and her band put the traditional language of Ashkenazi Jews into creative dialogue with Spanish, English, Hebrew and her native Swedish; mix period pieces with new—sometimes surprising—material; and season with klezmer, tango, jazz, Central European cabaret, Cuban and West African sounds. In Lyne’s … More Louisa Lyne & di Yiddishe Kapelye: Lust

Kongero: Kom

The title track of Kom (Come), Kongero’s fourth album, is a siren song—traditional, to be sure, but meant to beguile listeners in real time: “Come, come…/You young, enticed, dazzled, wounded…/You cannot escape/Hear the bells of temptation.” The motives of the four women who offer the a cappella chant are benevolent—thankfully, because their magic actually works. To say that Kongero … More Kongero: Kom

Folk’Avant: Gryningsland

Step away from the urgent world and into the dazzling universe of Gryningsland (Daybreak), by the Swedish-Finnish trio Folk’Avant. Anna Wikenius, Maija Kauhanen and Anna Rubinsztein—who met at Stockholm’s Royal College of Music—call their self-composed songs “experimental Nordic folk,” and they produce a sound that’s both tight (three voices, two instruments) and spacious. Drift on leisurely opening movements that merge into symphonic soundscapes, relish the strings and savor the … More Folk’Avant: Gryningsland

CajsaStina Åkerström: Vreden och Stormen

For a moment, time stands still… A song begins, seemingly in mid-conversation, drawing you in… Suddenly, you are above the landscape, flying on a melody. This is the effect of CajsaStina Åkerström, a Swedish singer-songwriter who started adult life as an archaeologist but changed careers (her father was one of the country’s leading folksingers) and climbed to the height of stardom; her trajectory mirrors her steady, soothing voice, with hypnotic lows … More CajsaStina Åkerström: Vreden och Stormen

Tarabband: Ashofak Baden

The musical seeds are familiar: Childhood violin lessons, a preference for Dylan and Joan Baez; first lyrics penned in English, first performance folk, dreams of starting a punk band. But this story belongs to Baghdad-born Nadin Al Khalidi, who found refuge in Sweden. Only after crossing a cultural bridge did she discover she could also become one. Al Khalidi is the heart and soul of Tarabband (from tarab, meaning “ecstasy in music.”), her soothing … More Tarabband: Ashofak Baden