For many of us, music is escapism. We wrap ourselves in our headphones and let go of everything around us. Perhaps no one is better at creating that sonic cocoon than Finnish outfit Cats of Transnistria, especially once you delve into the depths of Aligning. “Mountain High” opens things up, almost as an album itself, offering delicate touches and heavy notes to whet your appetite going forward. “Vampire” offers up the angelic beneath it’s brooding atmospherics, patiently bringing the vocals to rest atop. As you move into “Born Again,” a darker texture seeps in, though its still interrupted by the soaring vocal performance…if anything this only makes the song more haunting. In order to bring you out of that darkness, they offer up “Light” and “Wild Herbs,” sharing a natural warmth that provides the proper balance to the collection of songs; I think the latter is possibly my favorite track on this LP. The close of the album is much like the beginning, as “Aligning” seems very much like its own entity, book ending the listen with this exhilarating sonic exploration. If your one such listener looking for that other worldly experience, then grab Aligning from Soliti Music, out worldwide this Friday.
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.
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.
We always get plenty of good tunes from Finland, and this new Matti Jasu track is no different, though musically, it might seem like it has a bit of lineage with many of the modern acts in Australia. At times, there’s sort of a space-rock a la Bowie vibe, yet other times Jasu pulls back into a casual pop styling…infiltrating the structures with electronic samples and space antics. Ultimately, the track is built on pop tropes, guaranteeing that we’re all bound to find some enjoyment by listening; look for a full length LP later this year from Matti.
A few tunes from Finland’s Puunhalaaja have appeared on our pages previously, but now we’re bringing you the stream of the group’s new LP, Kari. Now, for listeners in the States, the foreign tongue might be a barrier, but please give yourself a few minutes, even just the first tune. That first track starts off subtley, careful guitar strums and a nice soft vocal. Then there’s a sudden bright burst of guitar pop, albeit for a short instant before returning. It’s the classic quietloudquiet formula that many indie rock fans find vital, and it’s employed consistently throughout the whole of Kari. The band even give in to their rocking desires with the album’s title track a quick jaunt through noisy pop. Go on, adventure off with this wondrous record, and if you’re inclined, pick it up from the band’s label, Soliti…available today!
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.