Gig Seeker Pro


Umeå, Västerbotten, Sweden | MAJOR

Umeå, Västerbotten, Sweden | MAJOR
Band World Comedy




"A harmonic journey with ÁRA"

Ruoktu, Ruoktu. Home, home. The lonely voice floats in a slowly unfolding jojk. Ruoktu. The stage is dark, except on ray of light on the jojker Simon Marainen. Some smoke and so the instruments fade in one by one: the glittering bow of the double bass, the glowing trumpet, the piano like birds singing, the secure pulse of the drum(…) The audience this Friday night is totally entranced by ÁRA who gives us a fantastic concert despite the fact that they have existed for barely one year. None of the musicians are novices of course, thay show experience, skill and individual style. (…) None of them equilibrates unnecessarily with technical solo parts, instead they tell us something. Honest musicians are words that springs to mind. - Västerbottens Folkblad

"Meditiative Music, Brilliant Debute (5/5)"

Ára was formed 1 year ago and now they release the symbolically named “O” as their debut album. They want to connect jojk to the modern stream of musical creativity. ÁRA has gathered musicians from all around Sweden to create the 12 tracks for this truly exquisite album. Trumpets blend in and out of the timeless tales of the jojk whilst the double bass works as a foundation of security. The band moves in a meditative expression where they let present and history blend together in a shamanistic weave consisting of grandiose pop and ancient tales. The whole booklet is written in the Sami language.

This is a brilliant debut album.
- Västerbottens Folkblad

"A near magical experience with ÁRA (5/5)"

The small room at Umeå Jazz festival called “Soundgarden” is solemnly lit with two paintings with the sign “O” and the sound is near perfect. In front of the audience stands a man in traditional Sami garments, straight back and an earnest gaze that can not be misinterpreted. This is for real. (…)
The unique music that often rise to grand crescendos is enormously atmospherical and it feels almost like experiencing a modern Sami post rock version of Mozarts “Requiem”, where life and death, joy and sorrow, love and hate is dealt with. (…) After some time the experience becomes near magical. The band is focused and the skilled musicians gives us treats from both jazz and post-rock traditions. (…)Matki, a jojk from the underworld that takes us through anxiety filled gasps for air into a positively exploding burst of energy that causes the hair on my neck to rise. A few hours after the concert I am still filled up with emotion and if I could decide sky is the limit for ÁRA .
- Västerbottenkuriren

"ARA is art! (4/5)"

This is a surprise. A positive surprise. Because I cant recall ever before listening to jojk with so much enthusiasm. Already a quick look in the booklet gives away that this is something over the ordinary. Members from Glesbygdn, Kultiration and Khoma has joined forces with Simon Issát Marainen who is already a name in the field of jojk.
With this line up you can forget all preconceptions you could possibly have about Jojk and trust that this is fine crafted, high quality music that will expand your senses. ÁRA is art!
The music is mostly dominated by delicate jazz and folk music, but you can also hear beautiful ska-vibes here and there.
If you are seeking an hour of meditiative escape from your everyday life I can highly recommend this album. Hour after hour after hour…
- Norran

"Beautiful pop from Sápmi (4/5)"

There is perhaps not a flood, but definitely a steady mountain water spring of Sami music in new costumes. Veterans like Marie Boine and Wimme have been followed by Sofia Jannok and most lately the north Norwegian Adjágas. The Swedish Quintet ÁRA reminds me slightly of the latter, but with more inclinations toward epical and emotionally dense music like Sigur Ros and Efterklang. The variation is wide when jojk and singing from Simon Issat Marainen meet Jazz, ambient, chamber pop and sometimes even roots reggae in this extremely ambitious, beautiful and often mesmerizing recording. - GP (Gothenburg Post)


Full length albums:
O - 2011



The story starts here.
Ancient traditions, deeply rooted harmonies and meditative melodies.

Above the polar circle, deep inside the innermost, is where the first meeting took place. The start of what 3 years later would become a completion of the circle. O is the circle, life, a perfect symbol, the first album of this project. ÁRA; the parts that form the circle. The will, the music, the friendship and the harmony.

The debut album “O” is a united will and vision to find new paths for Jojk as a means of expression, as an art form. Simon Issát Marainen together with his highly merited musicians create timeless and uncompromising Sami music from the enormous tundra of the north directly to our inner ear.

“O” gives us 12 tracks of tradition and modernity.
Life and Death.
Sound and Silence.
Love and Sorrow.