We’re only about a month away from the release of Aligning, the new LP from Finnish outfit, Cats of Transnistria. You’ll probably need at least two of the weeks leading up to the release just to digest the tune in full. The song is almost a meditation, a slow unfolding of emotional atmospherics coated in Henna’s vocals. A slight elevation and bright pop turn comes in around the 2 minute mark, but its fleeting and quickly turns towards a continued billowing of darkly tinged pop constructs. Just imagine your favorite dream pop band stripped of those buzzing guitars, replaced with sparse chords and patience and a never-ending tension. The new LP drops on November 29th via Soliti.
Somewhere in the 1960s, a group of friends gathered outside of a haunted house, deep in the hills, as the sun set, coating the world in darkness…or so the story goes. The soundtrack to that scene very well could be this tune from Pink Chameleons, though we’d have to travel back in time. In the recording of the vocals, you can hear this sort of howl, like the spirits turning notes into ghostly sounds that will haunt the friends. The fuzzy guitar buzz resonates, feeding the line between spirit world and those on the plane of Earth, blurring the lines as the psychedelic stop jangles through your speakers. Cool vibe, no? You’ll catch this track on the band’s new Songs EP, out December 13th via Soliti.
I’ve been covering the Finnish music scene for the last several years, and generally, I feel as if I’ve got a fair understanding of the musical landscape. That said, Cats of Transnistria always keep me guessing, as they seemingly do within their own works; they’ve evolved into this sort of brilliant slow-core pop act that fans of Bedhead or early Low would fawn over. Here, you feel the emotional tension build for over 2 minutes before the vocal notes dare peek into the track. From there we add textures, and at times, it seems like we’re losing touch with melody, losing ourselves in this discordant moment, only to be calmed by the warm blanket of song. I love the little imperfections, or the ones that seem as such, illustrating a desire to capture every emotion in its present state, perfect or not. This is cinematic brilliance captured in song form, which is what we can expect when Aligning drops via Soliti Music on November 29th.
Finnish outfit Pink Chameleons have quite a unique sound; they claim to have an affinity for garage and psychedelia, not to mention their love for Waylon Jennings, so you can see where things get a little bit muddy. Here, they definitely have a middle section of garage swagger beneath this heavy psychedelia…but what hooked me, and it’s looped in twice in the track, is this playful balance between male and female vocals in the chorus. It seemingly works against the driving pulse of the music beneath the surface, sort of raising the song’s spirituality before the effortless swagger of the verse comes into play; I like a good juxtaposition, in any form. This tune will appear on the group’s new EP, which is slated for release later this Fall via Soliti Music.
Be forewarned…the brand new Swan/Koistinen EP is a sobering four track collection. In the time of the endless scroll, we often talk about hyperbole and boost hopeful hyped artists. But, here we have two established musicians, Astrid Swan and Stina Koistinen crafting four songs that document their experience as cancer survivors; it’s four songs of these two women putting that experience on the table for all to see. Musically, I’m drawn to the throbbing pulse of “Hospital,” while I’m also growing to love the arrangements that accompany “Symptoms.” Honestly, it’s a tough listen lyrically, but perhaps one that provides many a fan with solace…ultimately ending in the joy of “Singing.” Just wanted to share it with you all; it’s available from our friends at Soliti.
This is a special song, written at one point for a special moment, celebrating and sharing the stories of two co-survivors and what it means to live as a sick woman. The two voices here are Astrid Swan and Stina Koistinen, both whom have battled diseases and bring you music to enlighten us about their experiences. This number deals with the powerful emotions of diagnosis, but in telling that story, the depth is established by the song’s arrangement; it’s sparse and emotional, aided by the string work of Owen Pallet and light electronics/piano bubbling from the depths of the song. The Swan/Koistinen EP will be shared with the world this coming May via Soliti.
When you first hear the heavy country vibe from the new Pink Chameleons tune, you immediately feel the weight of the song; it’s a nod to a classic sound where ballads ripped emotions from your soul. But, here you find the band turning a slightly brighter corner during the chorus, almost lifting the listener out of their chair…spiritually of course. It’s a pretty high standard the new group have set for themselves, but with a debut album on the horizon, it seems this tune could be a benchmark for the greatness that is to follow. The current single is available from Finland’s finest, Soliti.
We’ve shared a couple of tunes off this New Silver Girl LP, but now we can share the whole release in its entirety. The album kicks off with heavy, hook-laden riffs, though they’re spun in this atmospheric manner that allows the band to pull in some pop sensibility; it doesn’t hurt on some of the more exploratory tracks like “Phantom Ride.” Of course, a great LP never works if you’re not willing to differentiate, so you get softer numbers like “Tennessee” and “Alms,” or groovier rockers like “Starlight City.” It’s an album that’s all over the map, but in the best of ways, turning and exploring within the confines of these ten tracks; it sounds like a best of rock n’ roll soundtrack. You can get your hands on the self-titled LP from Soliti this Friday.
Finnish outfit New Silver Girl have a new album on the horizon for October, and today we’re happy to share with you the latest single. This tune has a bit of a glam glitz to it, and not just because of the video attire; it also has this slight vocal hiccup that recalls some of Bowie’s best vocal inflections. But, there’s something polished and glossy about the tune, perhaps due to producer Gordon Raphael, who also worked with the Strokes and Hinds. He knows his way around taking the gritty details and turning them into rock n’ roll gems; this is another such occasion. Look for the album to drop in late October via Finland’s best, Soliti Music.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and make the claim that New Silver Girl will be releasing some fairly important music; it should say enough that the band’s new song was produced by Gordon Raphael (The Strokes, Hinds). Then, you have this artful video shot in 16mm film starring legendary porn star Nina Hartley; the cinematography alone is special. But, ultimately, if the song’s no good, none of it matters…though the song is pretty great in this case. It moves between soft and loud, with the loud moments jetting off like something Thurston Moore would have been part of, except spun through a more modern cool. A start such as this can only mean greatness is to come; keep up to date with Soliti Music as we await news on the band’s debut LP.