Come August power pop band The Lieblings will release their debut album Take Us To Your Leader on the always interesting label GAEA Records. The first single just hit the net and if it is any indication of what the album contains, we are in for a party-dance-sign-along-bubblegum-pop treat with fuzz on top. This new song comes with a video in which you may recognise the faces (and butts) of friends and relatives in the Finnish pop scene, all of them singing and dancing to the rhythm of this delicious two-minute pop song.
Five-piece folk band Phenomenal Creature has recently released its debut album, a humble collection of acoustic songs rooted somewhere in the Finnish forests. The songs sound rustic with a very dark bluesy feeling enhanced by lead singer Joona Mäkelä distinct vocals, which are nicely accompanied by female harmonies. Songbird showcases a great pop melody, but the rest of the album is very diverse in its arrangements and rich in detail, from the sing-along chorus of opener Perfect Impressions to the primal rock of Petrified Forest. A very compelling debut.
Robin Pahlman has travelled the world to reinvent himself as a songwriter. After being in bands like Agent Kooper and Carmen & The Devil, and playing anything from punk rock to bluegrass, it took a stint in Seattle to start writing little acoustic songs on his own. Now, based in Vienna, Austria, Robin prepares his first solo album, which hopefully will be later this year.
The artwork for the debut single is quirky as a Journey record cover, but Miss Lonelyhearts is a tender and intimate acoustic song, with a emotive crescendo built up using smooth trumpet sounds and banjo licks, much in the spirit of early Iron & Wine. Beautiful song.
Thank god it’s Friday and thank god for rock and roll. Finland’s most popular rock and roller and former Hanoi Rocks frontman Michael Monroe is back with the new single Ballad Of The Lower East Side. This is a fast bubblegum punk rock track with sticky clap-your-hands pop chorus. Classic Michael Monroe sound and an expected follow-up to the well-received 2011 album Sensory Overdrive. As you may guess, the song pays tribute to New York City where the singer lived for several years. The music video shows some old photos from the era when there were junkies, pimps and whores in the Lower East Side.
The new album Horns and Halos will hit the stores on 23 August.
Call your band Shine 2009, name one song Eurozone, add some opera vocal samples and a whole lot of funk, and Pitchfork will likely pick your single up. Back in 2011, Shine 2009’s debut album got some well-deserved attention from the international media. Two years later, the duo formed by producers Sami Suovan and Mikko Pykäri is ready to launch a follow-up from which the wicked Eurozone is the first single. We expect a very fun album!
Post rock outfit Blind Architect has just released their debut album We felt Mountain and made a nice and simple video for the first single Lebanon. The song is beautiful six-minute piece with loud guitars, interesting chord progressions and a nice touch of French horn that makes the song more emotive. The whole album is only six songs, but lasts more than 43 minutes, so expect some intense jamming.
Sadly, this will be the last release of Tampere based label Lionheart Records, which is leaving the business after delivering some good music like this and that.
It’s been a little less than one year since I first heard about Black Lizard but it seems the band has already built up quite a reputation, first with an EP last September and then with some important shows such as opening for The Raveonettes earlier this year. Finally, the awaited debut album hit the stores last week. Is it as good as we expected, as good as the first reviews are saying? Short answer, yes, it is a great album and a remarkable debut.
Going to Tallinn Music Week? Here are some bands from Finland you may want to see there.
Tallinn Music Week is slowly, but steadily becoming a major showcase festival in Northern Europe with 233 artists from 20 countries playing over a long weekend (4-6 April) almost all around the clock -there are some tasty offerings to keep the party going. Obviously there is a strong focus on Estonian bands, but also many Finnish artists will take the ferry and play in the Estonian capital. Here are my recommendations.