Kieli is the artist name of Swedish-Finnish-Karelian multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter and composer Elin Pöllänen. Sylvan and sincere, Kieli invites the listener to a cinematic soundscape that is simultaneously beautiful, ingenuous, uplifting, and melancholic. Kieli’s music is made with great love for acoustic instruments and unrefined sounds, and holds a special place for the old harmonium in her family home and the diverse layers made with her violin.
Kieli’s artistic expression is inspired by her roots in the Nordics and Karelia, including female-led traditions such as the Karelian lamentation, and embodies years in minority culture representation, animal and environmental advocacy, and her work as a researcher exploring human relations to other animals and nature. By breaking barriers – between human and animal, nature and culture, past and present – her songs offer a liberating space that emboldens personal expression and reflection. Kieli’s music has been featured in campaigns by Sweden’s largest animal rights organisation (Djurens Rätt) and in an exhibition about Swedish forests by the Swedish Museum of Natural History.
After years of performing live and working as a session violinist and vocalist, Kieli released her debut EP Tick Tick Talk in 2019 on Schole Records. Referred to as an “indie jewel”, the EP was praised by music magazines and blogs worldwide. It was followed by I musiken, Kieli’s first single in Swedish and Finnish (2020). In 2023, Kieli released her multilingual debut album From Summer to Spring via Cognitive Shift Recordings.