Scarlet Thread is surely one of the most exciting current
bands on the Finnish scene.
The origins of the band begin in 1995 when leader
Jani Timoniemi began to record demos with session
players under the name Scarlet Thread.
The line-ups have changed often over the years and Jani
is the only member on this particular album that still exists
in the group today.
The others departed soon after this release which might
make you think this album is shaky,
but just the opposite is true.
This is one hell of a debut.
According to one of their webpage bios the band is
about mixing styles of music: rock, jazz, and folk,
with the understanding that emotion should always
trump complexity in the songs they compose.
This all instrumental album is warm and inviting,
fascinating, and quite difficult to describe.
While others mention groups like Tull, Renaissance,
Kansas, and Anglagard in their descriptions,
none of these groups would to me have conveyed
the correct musical image.
Scarlet Thread of this album I would describe as a bit
of an updated psych flavored jam-band with a
north woods feel, their sound instantly conjuring
images like the album cover.
The woodlands, nature, ogres and sprites, and
the smell of damp leaves as you walk through
the forest on a cold morning: all depicted superbly
with folksy violin and peaceful flutes aplenty.
These two instruments are heavily featured here,
lead instruments if you will, along with Timoniemi
on both acoustic/electric guitar and bass,
and the drummer.
A bit of Hammond and Moog are supplied by guests.
They occasionally remind me of Kebnekaise,
Grateful Dead, Camel, "Battle of Evermore" Zep,
and Mostly Autumn but those reference points
are as lacking as the first ones I mentioned.
Scarlet Thread must be heard.
This is a band that has become an instant favorite
of mine for the reason they allude to in their bio:
they expertly weave the guitars/violin/flute into
a wispy smoke of melodies and emotional
landscapes that entrance me.
It's an extremely pleasant.
I recommend highly to fans of friendly acid-folk
and lighter psych jam-band campfire stompin' music.
They have an organic sound with a distinct Finnish
vibe that I equate with freedom and a sense
of home and hearth.