Best albums of 2012

This is not an objective list. By no means.

Keep on reading and hear Finland’s best music in 2012.

Treehouse - Top to Bottom

11. Treehouse – Top to bottom

The performances in this country flavoured pop album are so proximate and warm that I could not leave this album out of the list. The singing and the harmonies are extraordinary. A Long, Long Time is the greatest Finnish country ballad.

Burning Hearts - Extinctions

10. Burning Hearts – Extinctions

Burning Hearts have recorded one of those album-of-the-year, award-collector type of record. It is an effective combination of folk, electronica and pop, with a danceable twist for the adult listener. An exhibition of extraordinary musical landscapes, too beautiful not to catch your attention.

Murmansk - Rüütli

9. Murmansk – Rüütli

Murmansk have created an album of such a powerful, overwhelming sound that it is hard to ignore. There’s loudness and energy, but there is also a strong focus on the melody that rises a notch the greatness of Rüütli. Noise rock up to eleven.

Volter - No Return

8. Volter – No Return

This is one of those little albums that easily gets overlooked. However it is a good album that brings the best 60s pop vibe, with a bit of psychedelia, tons of Beatles melodies and the perfect amount of melancholic Finnish rautalanka.

Soul Shine Society

7. Soul Shine Society – Smackpond Street Studio Sessions

These guys from Tampere are probably doing the less hip music nowadays: classic South oriented blues rock. But they are good at it. This self recorded, self produced, self released live in the studio album is just the first taste of their band’s music, and while it is a bit rough on the edges, it is also a good collection of deep fried, whisky flavored tunes with great arrangements and cool guitar riffs.

Antero Lindgren - Mother

6. Antero Lindgren – Mother

This album is the critics’ choice this year, and it probably occupies the place that John Grant and Bon Iver did in many best-of-lists last year. Clever folk songs with a big sound, an outstanding production, and the right amount of AOR.

Delay Trees - Doze

5. Delay Trees – Doze

From the very beginning, Delay Trees became one of my favourite Finnish pop bands and their second full-length has not been a disappointment. It might well be their best music yet. Their characteristic dream pop is now reinforce with extended jams, stronger guitars and more confident playing. HML, their ode to the city of Hämeenlinna, is a clear contestant for song of the year.

Big Wave Riders - Life Less Ordinary

4. Big Wave Riders – Life Less Ordinary

They drew their song from many sources, but at the end of the day, Big Wave Riders’ sound is all about creating some cool rhythms. Life Less Ordinary has plenty of them for a never ending party. I love when they slipped into the 60s sounds like in California and Move On.

Matti Jasu and the Loose Train - Samurai vs the Computer

3. Matti Jasu & The Loose Train – Samurai vs The Computer

This is a very fine pop album and as a fine pop album, so obviously it is strong on the melodies and has timeless choruses. But it also includes some very Neil Young inspired guitar licks to spice things up. In fact, the 15-minute long album closer might pass as a Crazy Horse song.

Skip Zone - Skip Zone

2. Skip Zone – Skip Zone EP

I have probably listened to this EP more than anything else this year. It is a bunch of well crafted Americana songs with very good vibes. In its simplicity lays its virtue. Leaving Planet Boredom is the perfect single.

Black Twig - Paper Trees

1. Black Twig – Paper Trees

This one was released very early in the year and many might have forgotten about it, but almost twelve months later, it still sounds fresh and new. Fuzz guitars and noise pop leaning to certain classicism that keeps the song at the center of all things. In another era, Lake Song would have been a hit.

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