Kardemimmit: Wrexham – live review

Kardemimmit @ The Bank – Focus Wales 2014 © Brent Jones


Focus Wales Music festival

April 2014

Armed with harps, heaps of charm and the most exquisite harmonies, the 4 women from Finland’s Kardemimmit are creating magic in a noisy pub in the middle of Wrexham.

The band deal in Kantele, the traditional folk music of their home nation and it’s an addictive mist of sound that swirls around the room gradually silencing the drunken talkers at the back of the bar with its mystical elixir and melodic magic. Perfect harmonies like this are always uplifting and pull you in- after all it’s of the purest expressions of music and these are some of the most perfect harmonies I’ve ever heard as they deal out the swirling and beautiful melancholia of a music that percolates from deep in the heart of fascinating Finland.

They back up their voices with traditional Finnish harps- not the kind of harps we know but more bulbous versions that have an extra tone to the sound and it’s a spellbinding and ethereal mist that draws you deep into the soul of the music and the nation.

There is always something fascinating about the purity and lilting sadness and beauty of Scandinavian music and its cold weather and rain drenched melancholia that resonates deeply with a British soul- I guess the shared inclement weather helps and the Scandinavian twist adds its own layer of mystique which is also fascinating as it envelops you with its glacial and yet emotional beauty.

Kardemimmit are perhaps the finest exponent I’ve seen of this- they draw from the past but present it in the now, this is far more sophisticated and fascinating than the clunky folk roots revival in the UK and is mesmerising in its rare beauty and self effacing charm and perfect example of making a fold music for the now with its roots appeal and its modern sheen.


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