Category Archives: Pop

Bypassers – EP

Four-piece band Bypassers is originally from Tampere, but its members recently moved to the UK, where they clearly feel like home as self-declared fans of Richard Ashcroft, Noel Gallagher and Johnny Marr. Early in the year, Bypassers released an EP, in which you will four good songs that could have been release in 1994 thanks to the combination of loud guitars and pop melodies.

Anni – Je Ne Sais Quoi

Anni

Following her excellent first EP, songtress Anni returns with a new EP titled Black Lotus and released today. This EP is the result of a successful crowdfunding campaign launched last year and it seems that the raised funds were well invested as the EP production is slick and the performances (with almost 20 musicians playing in one song) are superb. Check out below the song Je Ne Sais Quoi, a playful pop lullaby that turns into a wicked explosion of strings, horns and hip hop melody. It’s a big, ambitious sound, commanded by Anni’s beautiful vocals, in what it is meant to be a great step forward towards a long successful year in the singer’s career.

Astrid Swan – Four Months To Kill

A couple of weeks ago, Astrid Swan released her fifth album, titled Astrid4, where she returns to her own songwriting, and she does it in a superb manner. After flirting with guitar based brit-pop (Better Than Wages) and releasing a surprising synthpop album of Pavement covers (Hits – Pavement for Girls), on Astrid4 we find again the piano centric songs and the grandiose arrangements that made Astrid popular early in her career.

If you didn’t download the first single when it came out, here’s a chance of watching the video directed by media artist and documentary filmmaker, Timo Wright.

Anni – Sneakers

Earlier this year, songstress Anni released Sneakers as part of her debut Water Lilies EP, but she just premiered the music video for it. Recorded in the Turku archipelago by director Juuso Räsänen during summer, november is the right time to see this video as now it feels like a very welcomed ray of sunshine that will brighten the darkest time of the year. As enchanting as a summer bonfire, this flawlessly produced song stands out by the simplicity of its lyrics and soulful melody. A little piano-based pop gem, cute as electric blue sneakers.

This video also marks a turning point for the artist as she closes the chapter of her first EP and readies to release new music. Thanks to a crowdfunding campaign, Anni has recorded more songs and will release an EP next January. Stay tuned.

Delay Trees – Perfect Heartache

Delay Trees 2013

Almost five years ago, an EP with the most suggestive artwork hit my mailbox. It was composed by old photographs of a round trip somewhere in the countryside, like movie stills. On the cover, a young woman was behind the wheel of an old seventies car. The band was Delay Trees and the music, like the photographs was dreamy and cinematic. At that time, it was a band in progress, without a label, self-produced, with stage fright, shy of interviews. But the music was too beautiful to be left unheard, and luckily it wasn’t. Like the woman on the photograph, Delay Trees have traveled and become a strong, self-confident band, happily established in the indie scene and with the support of the Soliti label.

Five years later, here’s the first single of the band’s third full length album, which will be released in January 2014. The music retains the band’s usual dream pop melody and the beautiful melancholy, but now the guitars, like the whole band, are more decisive and tougher. Another song, another mile.

Volter – The One

I’m thrilled to report that Volter is back with a new single, which is the first taste of the band’s next full-length to be released some time next year. Last year’s the band’s debut, No Return, was on my best of 2012 list and if this new single represents the things to come, the new album will score high next year too. The One is a 60’s pop gem with a killer garage guitar riff. Its b-side is a winner too with a sweet Beatlesque melody.

Go to Volter’s Bandcamp and leave a little tip when you listen/download this single.

http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=4213931830/size=medium/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/transparent=true/

Ruut – Glimpse

You may or may not know who Aulis Sallinen is, but he is one of the greatest Finnish contemporary classical music composers with six operas and eight symphonies, composed over a 50 year long career. Far from Finland, Ruut, one of his granddaughters has deviated from the family’s classical music tradition and embraced a style closer to the greatest American songwriters from the 60s and 70s like Carole King and Paul Simon. At a very early age, the songstress left Finland and travelled the world until moving to the States when she was 16. Nowadays she lives in Baltimore, from where she is resuming her musical career after motherhood, with a new album, called Glimpse. It is classic piano girl with sweet vocals delivering an elegant arrangement leaning on indie folk sounds.

Listen to Ruut’s new album title track below and read a short Q&A in which she remembers Finland from across the Atlantic.

What can you remember about your childhood in Finland?
There are so many beautiful memories I carry with me from growing up in Finland. I still miss the summers, swimming in the clear, green sea, picking wild blueberries and of course, the sauna.

My best memories are from the Finnish countryside where my grandmother’s house is. That still feels like home, and I’m trying to recreate it for my kids here in the States.

Do you follow any Finnish music?
I’ve been listening to Juno, especially the single he released featuring Janna. I love hearing Finnish rap! I think The Rasmus is a great band. There are also a lot of new artists I’m just getting to know.

What influences have you picked up from your family, which comes from a classical music background?
Growing up, my parents would rehearse at home constantly, so hearing live music was just a normal part of life. My parents instilled an appreciation for classical music in me, and listening to my grandfather’s music makes me realize I get a lot of my musicality from that heritage. But seriously, sometimes I have to check my passport, because American singer/songwriters from the 1960’s and 70’s have influenced me so much.