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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Thursday, October 20, 2005
    Paavoharju: Yha Hamaraa

    There I am, aching into the couch, happy to escape from all things religious at the end of a heavy week, when in The Wire I read some unexpected words: 'Christianity is the source from which the members of Paavoharju draw their music ... [but] far from retreating to codified traditions of liturgical standards or recalling a shiny-faced sentimentality that smacks of irony, these Christian expressionists are a rare breed. Paavoharju stand sincere in their belief that God gave them a gift in their ability to craft these psychedelic hymns that articulate complex and unusual revelations about God, themselves and the world.'

    Second Layer provide a good long sample of their sound; and there's some shorter samples at Aquarius, who gave Yha Hamaraa record of the week status, 'a sheer delight packed with many surprises ... our fondness has only grown with each listen. Listening to Yha Hamaraa is almost like eavesdropping on a dream... or having someone else's heartbreaking memories come back to hazily haunt you. Sounds, voices and melodies drift in and out of focus, occasionally overlapping and seeping into one another. ... Allow the wash of sounds to transport you into Paavoharju's intoxicating world. Completely and utterly breathtaking.'