Polku is the sophomore release from Finland's Kosmos, a six-piece psychedelic/progressive/folk band whose music is heavily influenced from the classic sounds of the 70's. Using a wise variety of acoustic and electric instruments, including guitars, Mellotron, organ, synths, bass, theremin, violin, conga drums, bassoon, and recorder, Kosmos take the stance of an early White Willow, but kick up the folk aspect a notch. In fact, this is pretty mesmerizing stuff, often times very dark and intoxicating, as on the dreamy "Omini's Dakakos", complete with haunting Mellotron choirs and flutes, violin, and bassoon. The lead vocals of Päivi Kylmänen are sung in the native Finnish tongue, and she has a very soothing style that quickly envelopes the listener while the music takes you off into various moods and settings. Some of the more overtly folk pieces, like "Kesa" and "Lahja vai Kirous" feature rolicking acoustic guitars, recorders, and catchy vocal melodies . Ominous Mellotron and lush acoustic guitar permeates the creepy "Eksyin", made even more chilling thanks to Päivi's spoke word dialogue, and a similar dark vibe continues on throughout "Ouija", as the singers whispy vocal treatment flutters over waves of Mellotron, guitar strains, violin, cymbals, and nightmarish theramin. The joyous "Nuoruus" sees the group sounding a bit more symphonic, with lush Mellotron flutes & choir, organ, piano, and Päivi's endearing vocals. The album is bookended by the two part "Polku", each one brief pieces of endearing guitar & vocal interplay.
It's hard not to like an album like this, especially if you have a soft spot for 70's inspired folky prog filled with plenty of charming acoustic guitars, waves of different Mellotron sounds, and lovely female vocals. The band was also nice enough to give the full lyrics in English as well, so folks who are not from Finland can follow along with the words. Very nice indeed!
1) Polku 1 (The Path 1)
2) Vieras Kieli (A Foreign Tongue)
3) Kesa (Summer)
4) Omini's Dakakos
5) Lahja vai Kirous (A Goft or a Curse)
6) Eksyin (I Got Lost)
8) Nuoruus (My Youth)
9) Polku II (The Path 2)