Uusikuu celebrate their Sweet Sixteen anniversary with their fifth album “Karuselli” and light 16 candles on their birthday cake. In 2006, Finnish singer Laura Ryhänen, violinist Mikko Kuisma, and German accordionist Norbert Bremes founded the world music ensemble Uusikuu (New Moon) with their colleagues at the time. Their ambitious goal: to breathe new life into the traditional Finnish tango! Today, the ensemble’s line-up includes James Geier on guitar and Florian Dohrmann on double bass.
Uusikuu bow admiringly to the traditional Nordic light music of the 1930s to 1960s. The band calls their style “Vintage Sounds of Finland”. On “Karuselli”, the band again celebrates the Finnish dance style jenkka, which is relatively unknown outside Finland in this country. So not “Tango Nuevo”, but “Jenkka Nuevo”!
Three elements characterise Uusikuu’s repertoire: new interpretations of classics, rediscovered jewels of Finnish dance music and pieces written by the band members themselves. “We tell fairy tales for adults about the bizarreness of Nordic life,” Laura Ryhänen sums up the band’s philosophy. On “Karuselli”, the musicians lovingly remind us that life turns like a fairground carousel. Sadness follows joy, hopeless love dances with ecstasy and loneliness holds hands with intimate togetherness.
According to the philosophy of Uusikuu, true joie de vivre only comes from kaiho, the Finnish equivalent of the Portuguese saudade, i.e. gentle melancholy. Kaiho, however, does not exist among the musicians without a large portion of self-irony and wit.
Uusikuu are enthusiastic fans of the Eurovision Song Contest and have always surprised with their very own interpretations of Grand Prix winning songs on their albums. On “Karuselli” they deliver “Me rakastavaiset”, a lively version of “Nous les amoureux”, the Luxembourgian winning song from 1961.
With “Suklaasydän” (Chocolate Heart), one of the cream pieces on “Karuselli”, Uusikuu introduce us to the genre of the Finnish jazz hit. The track is originally based on a US song from the 50s. The “Bumtsi-bum” in the chorus is still known by everyone in Finland today!
“Joo vai ei?” (Yes or No?) is a new jenkka by Laura Ryhänen and addresses one of life’s fundamental questions: Yes or no, a short flirt or a whole life together? Which is better for you?
Uusikuu let the puppets dance on “Karuselli” and join forces with the Franconian folk rebels from Gankino Circus on their new album “Suomessa” on the spirited track “Ievan Polkka”. The wonderful video for the song is already a veritable YouTube hit! In this exciting story about Ieva and her galan, the funfair goes wild!
With their skilful mixture of fiery tangos, dreamy waltzes, cheeky jenkkas, funny humppas and light-footed swing sounds, Uusikuu once again invite their listeners to shake a leg on “Karuselli”. The critics are also impressed: the band has been nominated for the “Eiserner Eversteiner” world music award in 2022.
Year of Release: 2019
Year of Release: 2016
Year of Release: 2022