Excellent Reissue from Sister Flo

floridaI was out searching for something supremely beautiful, and luckily our friends at Soliti Music had just the trick up their sleeve, sending me a copy of the latest reissue from Sister Flo.  The band is legendary in their homeland of Finland, with their album Tragicians Hat being spoken of much like the early B&S records…whispered in tiny circles of those in the know.  Sadly, the band are no longer together, but I think you can hear how great the music they crafted truly was, which is why it’s getting the re-issue treatment.  If anything, at least your day will get better with this tune.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/02-White-Noise.mp3]

Download: Sister Flo – White Noise [MP3]

 

Touch of Psych Rock from Black Lizard

artworks-000085882191-1emcxl-t500x500We had good things to say about Black Lizard‘s self-titled album from last year, so it’s good to see the band back with some brand new tunes.  The title of this tune is “Burning,” which fits perfectly, as the tune seems to be a slow moving psych version of “Satisfaction,” at least in some of the chord progressions.  There’s no real rush in the song, choosing to let the musicianship be the showcase here; the vocals are buried deep in the mix.  You’ll be able to grab the Burning EP from Soliti Music, and expect a full length to come from the group at the beginning of 2015.

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Manna Signs to Soliti Music

mannaManna is an Algerian/Finnish songwriter who has just recently announced her signing to our favorite little label, Soliti Music.  Her sound rests on her voice, at least on this track, with her vocals starring in the stripped down performance.  There’s little more than a flash of strings and piano, but that sultry vocal gets you every time.  I’m also really interested in her understanding of the English language, as these lyrics are pretty remarkable for an artist who speaks it as a second language.  Be on the look out for her new album from the label this fall.

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Bouncy Tune from Astrid Swan

astridswanUp until now, the music we’ve gotten from Astrid Swan has been pretty mellow, which is well and good, but today we’re finally able to share with you one of my favorite tracks from her album, Astrid 4. Of course, the song features the great vocals that have been present on everything we’ve shared with you.  To me, this illustrates the diversity that you’ll find on her new record, from ballads to upbeat numbers, all of which are well-produced.  You can order the Astrid 4 from our good friends at Soliti Music.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/06-Black-Bear-A-Hoofer-24bit-mastered.mp3]

Download: Astrid Swan – Black Bear & A Hoofer  [MP3]

New Music from Gim Kordon

Gim-Kordon1-750x491I’ll pretty much stand by the quality work of the folks over at Soliti Music, the Finnish label that’s been pretty consistent with releases over the last few years. Up until now, the majority of the works they’ve released have had English lyrics, but not this track from Gim Kordon.  But, that being said, the music alone is pretty special, encouraging me to play it over and over today.  Their debut album Ei Ole Helppoo will be out on the label on May 9th, and if you want to partake in the wordily religion of rock n’ roll, then give this tune a thorough listen.  You can also check out a pretty rad video for the single HERE.

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Beautifully Subdued Track from Prince of Assyria

princeAs we here at ATH aim to recover from extensive debauchery, I figured I’d offer you this mellow tune to help us all ease back into our daily lives.  This tune comes to you from Prince of Assyria, who has been quietly making waves in Sweden.  On this track, there’s a light guitar strum, accompanied by a faint violin accent and female vocals.  You’ll be able to hear more tracks of this sort from the artist on April 11th when he releases Changing Places, his second album, on Soliti Music.  Seems like a perfectly way to start out what will surely be a dragging Monday morning.

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Delay Trees – Readymade

delay-trees-readymadeRating: ★★★★☆

When listening to the new effort from Delay Trees, their second effort for Soliti Music, the Finnish band are prepared to take you on a carefully constructed journey through their musical world. It’s often a cold and sterile world, but it offers an undercurrent of melody that eventually finds its way into your listening heart.

Readymade begins with an introductory piece of instrumentation, carefully placed as the opening moment to your journey with the band. From here, you fall into the realm of “Fireworks,” which utilize a circling guitar line that creates an ominous tune.  While the mood crosses into a bleak arena, the natural warmth that’s left by the melody will find listeners stirring in their seats, drawn into the emotional nature of the track.  These Finnish boys will soon move into a post-rock world of angular guitar chords and a brooding bass line with “Steady.”  Here, the work of the group seems less focused on the development of the vocals, instead allowing the listener to be immersed in the land created by Delay Trees.

But, while the group does seem to have the map planned out for your listening experience, they also have a few tracks that really rise above the rest of the record.  “Sister” is a calming track, sitting near the front end of the album; its pacing is rather slow, yet the vocal delivery is what you’ve got to focus on here.  It draws you in close, coming across as a faint whisper in the stark environment crafted by the group; I’m particularly fond of the way the pitch rises ever so carefully.  Then, of course, there’s the lead single, “Perfect Heartache.” You’ll find that the guitar parts really win out on this number, ringing at the beginning, then being fleshed out into softened distortion. There’s even a bit of swing created around the 2.30 minute mark, with “oohs” and a twanging guitar bit.  You’d be remiss to skip out on this song. Following it up with “Howl” provides a nice emotional switch too.  This track really has a brighter vocal quality that indicates the wide array of touches the band have put forth in crafting the record.

I loved the work of Delay Trees with their record, Doze, but I feel like this album is leaps and bounds above the former.  Each song offers the listener something, and each one has its own identity, yet they’re all tightly wound together to create a cohesive listen.  A writer could write about each track, and a listener could rave about each individual song.  All these things lead to a rewarding sit down that will encourage fans to come back to Readymade again and again.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/06-Perfect-Heartache.mp3]

Download: Delay Trees – Perfect Heartache [MP3]

Playful Track from Astrid Swan

astridThose of you who aren’t living in Finland probably have no idea who Astrid Swan is, and that’s okay, though sad in the long run.  The track below comes from her 5th album, Astrid4, and this is one of the many great moments you’ll find.  Her voice is quite strong, which is probably what first attracted me to the singer’s work, but the accompaniment here is what completely sold me.  While the stile is different, incorporating various horns and woodwinds provides listeners with something that’s rare in pop music…a classical touch that’s creative and not forced.  You can pick up Astrid4 from Soliti Music now.

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New Music from Black Twig

blacktwigYou’ve got to keep an eye on things over in Finland, with Soliti Music really putting out some incredible acts.  The next slated release from the label is going to be the sophomore LP from Black Twig.  Heliogram is the name of the album, which should see a February release; it’s going to be an exciting piece if it contains songs like the one below.  I love the guitar playing here…it sort of jangles, but it mostly rings in a melodic, discordant manner.  Set it up right next to the softly delivered vocals and we’ve got a gem of a tune on our hands.  Looks like we need to head to Finland!

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/02-Pastel-Blue.mp3]

Download: Black Twig – Pastel Blue [MP3]

New Music from The New Tigers

thenewtigersOne of my favorite acts from abroad is the Finnish act, The New Tigers. They’ve been signed onto Soliti Music for some,and their new album, The Badger, is set for a broader release today.  In the ringing of the guitars from the introductory moments, you get the feeling that this is going to be an upbeat affair, which it is for the most part.  But, the vocals, lightly backed by a female harmony, fit in perfect do offset the energetic feel, albeit only slightly. You can also CHECK OUT a great video fo the song, featuring  the group on their adventures in London.  It’s hard not to like a song this good.

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