Vuokko Hovatta

Bringing peace to the intensity of the festival

There are many oddities in the mythology of rock. One of them is the disdain for artistic impressions: the tendency to downplay all depth, slowly opening musical arches and carefully considered manner of expression and instead highlight the aesthetics based on energy, spontaneity and straightforwardness. The grubbier and easier the music, the more genuine it is considered to be. Those who seek something else are humourless and dull. And those who try to expand the horizons a bit easily end up labelled as being artsy and pretentious.

Fortunately art has the ability – and obligation – to break the mould and to question the conventionalities. This is what Vuokko Hovatta relies on. From the very first notes, her music feels familiar and hospitable, yet it is difficult to place it in any of the usual genres of pop music. It is intimate but strong, and when you close your eyes and listen to it, you might see a lot more than you ever expected. This is why Vuokko Hovatta's music entangles the listener and won't let go. This is the definition of art at its strongest.

When Hovatta promoted her debut album a few years ago by taking part in the Finnish Eurovision contest, she stood out from the crowd like a lithe birch in the middle of a clear-cut. Both the event and the music were to blame. Indeed, instead of individual songs, Hovatta's music is at its best when enjoyed as an entity. This is when her peaceful atmospheres, airy rhythms and conscious chaoses form a world of their own, a world where feelings shared by everyone grow larger than life. And this is when her music is clear as crystal and her lyrics become filled up with thousands of images.

Vuokko Hovatta performs her songs with a sonorous and expressive voice, diving with sincerity into every emotion. The undertone here is longing that envelops other emotions like a beautiful veil. In the midst of the intense flow of the festival Hovatta offers a chance to get lost in the moment and see your experiences in a new light. Or to forget everything for a while – to listen to music that sets out somewhere else but finally echoes inside the listeners themselves.

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Vuokko Hovatta