Cats of Transnistria have graced the ATH pages several times in the past few months, as we anxiously awaited the release of the group’s new effort, Opium. Luckily, we’re fortunate enough to share the stream of the album before it’s release this Friday via Soliti Music. But, one must be forewarned, as you’re likely to find yourself lost in the folds of this wondrous creation. The group has always had this haunting depth…a sort of out-of-body craftsmanship that seductively brings you under its spell; you’ll want to fully immerse yourself in this listen. Take a track like “Trees,” which is a 7 minute opus; the band exhibit a great deal of patience, barely making a sound before the 3 minute mark. They’re stretching the boundaries of pop music, carefully plotting each note and change of tone…aided on this effort by the presence of violinist Sanna Komi. While I find the entirety of the record stunning, I’ve found “Feeding” to be my favorite; the discordant opening crested perfectly into an angelic vocal appearance from Henna Emilia. Lose yourself in this listen, and look for the album on Friday.
I listen to more music that I should, and among it all, at the moment, nothing is quite as special as Cats of Transnistria. A wash of atmospherics open this number before strings and curling guitar lines add an ominous tone. That works perfectly to contrast with the angelic vocal performance that floats dreamily atop the sonic landscape crafted by the group. Then the group moves you in an entirely different direction, almost as if you’ve entered some forbidden forest with them before those strings come back to suck you into the realm. You’re not going to find another act operating so beautifully; look for their new album Opium to hit on February 2nd via Soliti.
We’re all about to head off into the holiday quiet with our own personal listening stations and Spotify playlists, but before we all break until the new year, we wanted to drop this brand new track from Helsinki’s Puunhalaaja, who’ve we spotlighted before. What’s of immediate importance on this new recording is that Sebastian Forss has fleshed out his one-man band to include three new members. The move expands the band’s sound, as one would expect, but while the sound is fleshed out, it very much carries the spirit of the first album. You’ll hear a striking focus on the acoustic guitar, layered with strings, percussion and touches of the atmospheric…all leaving plenty of room for the beautiful vocals of Forss. Look for a new LP in 2018 from Soliti, and for now, warm yourself with this tune.
The beautiful haunting of Cats of Transnistria is set to overwhelm you today with the new video for “Candy Man.” The opening moments of the song are dominated by the deepened tones of string arrangements, sprinkled with atmospheric flourishes behind. It’s actually a sparse track, even when the angelic vocals twist and turn inside the track, allowing the audience to extract their own emotions from the song. A dark wash on the video only reinforces the solemnity offered by the Finnish trio, and we expect nothing more than an enduring classic when the band release Opium early next year via their label, Soliti.
We haven’t heard much from The New Tigers since their last EP in 2016, but lucky for us, they’ve been hard at work on a brand new album for Soliti…with the accompanying single. The band are brandishing the best sort of casual pop, relaxed in style, yet filled with delicious melodies that captivate listeners. Perhaps the most intriguing part of this tune is its ability to continuously keep you interested by minor musical adjustments, turning the melody this way and that so as to provide more depth. The band’s attention to detail surely means their next LP will be a mesmerizing listen, so stay tuned!
If you do choose to follow these pages, then you’ve likely seen Verandan pop up rather frequently the last few months. It’s important to note, especially for me, that this is the latest project from Ville Hopponen of Cats on Fire fame (a personal fave). Through six times you’ll find yourself enamored with the casual pop vibes, though be sure to pay close attention to the fragility that seems to lurk on tracks like “Inland Sea.” You’ll also be able to find your own personal escape on “Follow the Money,” or turn up the energy with the indifferently upbeat “A Pleasant View.” The self-titled EP just came out over in Finland via our faves Soliti.
A few months back I brought you insider trading news that Harry Kane’s favorite label Soliti Music would be releasing a new EP from Verandan. Today, there’s a sprawling collage opus to enhance your day, cerebrally. There’s a huge usage of negative space, drawing the emotion from the listener rather than forcing it upon us. I’m perhaps most captivated by the intimacy of the voice, almost like a gentle whisper shared solely for me…reminds me a lot of the sorely missed Gravenhurst. Take a moment of your day to make it better all around; look for the EP on October 9th.
Another week, another deserving band signs with Finland’s Soliti Music. Manalishies are the latest act to join the stable, and their sound seems to imply they’ll be bringing something new to the label. This track slowly opens with a brooding bit, like a dark psychedelic wave that the band is just waiting to unleash. However, they never fully jump off that cliff, instead pulling back to allow for a somewhat steady release of vocals; it gives off the affect of early BRMC (if anyone remembers them), bringing in a combination of subtle noise and a classic rock n’ roll vibe. The band’s in the studio wrapping up their debut EP, and I’m definitely interested to see where this is going.
Finnish label Soliti has quite a remarkable stable, and this year they signed what I think is an artists capable of breaking across the globe: Verandan. With one incredible single under their belt, the band bring you this brand new single (released digitally on the 14th) to enjoy. It reminds me of the best of the pop world, combing chamber elements with delicate touches of atmospherics…all the while keeping a nice bit of energy in the track. Just imagine the playful bounce of Belle and Sebastian mingling with the more introspective world of the Clientele. The group even throws in some joyous “ooh oohs” near the end, so be sure to stay ’til then.
Cats of Transnistria are currently working on their second album, and while the work progresses, they’ve shared this tune as a peak at what’s to come. It’s an experiment in minimalist pop, offering little more than a single note and the powerful voice; it doesn’t need much more to carry the song’s natural beauty. As the track unfolds, tiny touches of strings and piano float in and out, creating a beautiful haunted atmosphere that will take you off into the ether. Looks like album number two is going to be pretty remarkable!