Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording by Ian Harris, Video By Jake Lyle, Words by Landon Kuhlmann
Kuinka is not only a folk band in the purest sense of the term, they are also innovators within that sound. Hearing a band like this is like sipping from a perfect cup of tea; like golden sun pouring through the shades, slightly open, after a good night's sleep; like turning the shower to the right temperature on the first try and stepping in, all in one fell swoop. In short, it's refreshing, joyous, and probably just what you need if your day could be going better than it is.
In recent history, the mainstream has picked up the folk-revival sound and put it on the same radio playlists as Top 40 club bangers. In a time when it is all too easy to dilute this kind of folk into a pop-music conceit, Kuinka crafts songs that are engaging and original with a proper amount of established canon and innovation. Stories are laced through the lyrics, there are celebrations as well as lamentations—there is synth and cello! It is such a wonderful thing to hear a sound you've adored for so long ameliorated like this, with nothing missing, only new possibilities added to the mix.
Kuinka, according to their website, means "how" in Finnish, as in, "how does a band continue to evolve artistically and challenge themselves while staying true to their own roots?" Well, if that was their goal, they achieved it. There's a formula for good music that seems to fit quite often, at least from a critical standpoint: take your inspirations, your roots, and put them on display. Own up to where you've come from. Then obfuscate, obliterate, and ameliorate: make it better, make it yours. The alchemy of past and future is a hard one to grasp, and even harder to master. Kuinka, though, just might be the alchemist who can get the job done.
Kuinka Official Site