October is a fine month for music. Everything from the cheesiest of black metal to the most ethereal of folk finds its home in a season which glorifies gore and the old gods together in a grand renunciation of conventional Christian values. I make an effort every year to present a sort of soundtrack to the season. Last year this amounted to a meager one post, but this go around I aim to do a song a day every day from now until the 31st.
The criteria will be two-fold: the song must be either dark, pagan, fantasy-oriented, or at least authentically folk; and I cannot have ever featured it on Shattered Lens before. It’s going to be an interesting ride. I feel at the moment completely out of touch with my music collection, and too hopelessly bereft of time to do anything about it. Musically, I spent the grand bulk of this year focusing on vgm. I must say the venture was eye-opening, and I have a much broader appreciation of video game music to show for it, but it’s a subject quite far from my typical focus. I will be putting my vgm series on hold for the month (it is incomplete anyway, and such a break will hopefully give me time to extend it), and focusing on music a bit more relevant to the season.
Today’s feature song is Tunturikukka by Finnish folk act Poropetra, taken from their self-titled 2004 demo release. While their full-length album features substantial rock influence, their demo is an outstanding example of uncompromised contemporary folk of the Finnish/Karelian variety. The band’s name is, according to Encyclopaedia Metallum, “the name of a mythological blue moose which travels through the sky”. Their founder, Juha Jyrkäs, has supposedly collaborated with folk metal legends Korpiklaani.
Tunturikukka is a track I’ve been keeping around for years now. I don’t recall when exactly I discovered the band, but I may have had it in my collection since the year of its release, and it still never fails to make an impression on me. I’ve always extracted a warm, sort of wintery vibe from the tune, and there’s something a bit reverent about it. From what I’ve read, I gather the lyrics pay ample homage to Finnish mythology, and on Tunturikukka most among the demo tracks I get a real sense of connection with the past.