Summer is nearly here and I believe my first nominee for song of summer has arrived with this new track called “Summer Love” from Helsinki based artist Lala Salama. The track has a dreamy, sun drenched sound paired with a frantic and pulsating force driving the song for 2.5 minutes. It’s a blast of refreshing energy.
This track is offered by independent Finland label All That Plazz with a promise of more new music coming soon!
There’s always a soft spot in my heart for really moving pop music, such as you’ll find in the debut album from Finland’s Team Play. The duo have called this collection “gothic hymns,” celebrating the voice of humanity; the whole of the record is really about the vocal interplay between Minja and Tapio, combining and overlapping one another as they music fills in the empty spaces behind them. “Sunrise” has this beautiful rolling opening moment that sets you up to fall in love with the brooding emotions. Personally, I keep going back to “Foggy Night,” which sparkles with this delicateness that seems unparalleled in the current climate. Wishes and Desires is available today from Soliti Music.
With a few singles under their belt in 2021, Finnish outfit Verandan have one final tune to close out the year, appearing on a compilation for Spanish label Kocliko. This tune doesn’t stray too far from the band’s sound, creating this natural softness that leaves tons of open space for reflective notes; it does feel like its something Phil Collins would have had his hands in crafting. Ville’s voice is just magical here, and I can’t get enough of each little note as it curls around the dense musical underbelly. The group are working on a new album for next year, so keep your eyes and ears peeled for that news!
Not too far in the past, Finnish outfit Love Sport dropped their most recent LP, And Justice For All; today we share the band’s video for “Wrong Kind of Evil,” opening with one of my favorite guitar lines from the record. Immediately building tension, the song expands into more traditional rock territory with Teemu Tanner bringing his distinctive howl into the picture. But, its the chorus here that really sells this tune, bringing in this balance between heavy rock and melody; I can always hear the band having fun as their rocking through it…great to hear the joy in recording shine through. If you dig this tune, grab And Justice For All from Soliti!
It’s been a minute since we’ve heard from Helsinki outfit Veranadan, who dropped an EP in 2017 that I was rather excited about. I’m just as excited about this new work, as it seems to be hitting on some of those trademark pop sounds that blossomed forth from that release. This first listen to new stuff has these shimmering keyboard notes, though there’s this almost jazzy flare to some of the guitar’s lick; the rhythm section surely is owed a debt as its keeps the smoothness just hip enough to hold onto pop tendencies. Ville’s vocals reset easily amidst the track, carrying this lofty sense of longing that has certainly charmed my ears. Word has it that there are more tunes to follow in the year, so keep an eye on the band’s label, Soliti Music.
Finnish rock band Black Lizard has long been a staple here on the pages of Austin Town Hall. It’s certainly easy to post about the group when they deliver singles like this one called “Window in Time”. The track has this great, late 60’s/early 70’s psych rock vibe complete with some impressive buildups and breakdowns in the chorus. It’s a pretty easy song to get into really. I suggest you check it out now.
Black Lizard will release new album Celebration of a New Dawn on February 23rd via Fuzz Club Records.
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.
There’s definitely a soft spot in my heart for perfect guitar pop; I’m always looking for the sort that brings in distorted guitars wrapped around touching harmonies…sort of what Nada Surf‘s been doing for years. So here we have Helsinki’s Merries and their new video for “Travel to the Sun.” My only complaint is that the song might be a few seconds short; I could listen to this on repeat for hours. This song appears on the band’s forthcoming album, which is due later this spring, but it’ll appear on a 7″ from Royal Mint Records if you love it like I do.
Some days you just want to sit in your chair, drink a beer and listen to some commercial rock with your friend Mark Kozelek. If you’re up for it, I think the two of you will likely be listening to Sofa Pets. The Helsinki band has that same guitar sound popularized by Budweiser and War on Drugs, and there’s a slight hazy emotion that shines through the lead single. There is a loftier vocal approach in here too, soaring high above the mix, meeting the swirling guitar work at the highest notes. Look for their debut EP soon on VILD Recordings.
The waters in Finland have been growing strong, and Soliti Music has been handling the allocation of such waters to it’s many great artists. They’ve just added a new act to their roster who I think will catch your interest, Love Sport. The group is a hodgepodge of the label’s roster, with members of Black Twig and Big Wave Riders to name a few. Their first single is this driving burst of psychedelic pop music; the vocals are hiding behind the main mix just a smidge, begging you to put in a closer ear. You can also check the video for the single HERE; their Gol EP will be out on December 12th.