It’s always great to start out the week by looking back upon the week that was, and while perhaps not an abundance of tunes like there was the previous week, there was definitely great musical news. Papercuts announced a new LP, with two new songs from the record, and both are here for fun below! Plus, Finnish outfit Rules dropped a new single, and I just can’t stop raving about Lewsberg and Apollo Ghosts. And somehow it all gets wrapped up with a new Ducks Ltd single? I’ll take it. Revisit last week with us!
Finnish outfit Rules have been delivering hyper-literary influenced pop tunes since 2000 (aside from that blissed out Weezer cover, of course!). They return today with a Henry James influenced ditty, and a new member, Oskari Haltsi, adding his production and vocals to the mix. We start off in familiar territory, with a quick euphoric burst and the distinctive vocals. But, the track, playing upon the concept of duality between a ghost and human, offers these little elegant peaks and valleys, mixing in the abstract dreaminess and the pulsing hook that captures the listener. No word on a new album just yet, but always great to hear this bunch bring new tunes to the table (courtesy of Soliti).
Last year Rules released their self-titled album, which was an undeniable surprise hit for me, compiling joyous electric pop sounds and hyper literary references into gem after gem. Today, they’re back with their first new music since the album, an enthusiastic electro cover of Weezer’s “Say It Ain’t So!” They keep the hooks, so don’t worry that by stripping the song of guitars that you’ll lose something; they stretch it instead with heavy synth work and booming voices! Plus, you get a sense of the band in their natural habitat, as they roll about for a nice evening with director Pekka Harkonen. The band release this tune with another new single on Friday via Soliti!
One of the great musical surprises of this year has been the debut release from Finnish duo Rules. An entire album of carefully crafted pop music spun around literary characters favored by Iti and Sarra; this time around their latest video pays homage to Katherine Mansfield’s “The Daughters of the Late Colonel.” One of the reasons I love this tune is that it introduces a harsher element to some of the record’s shinier moments. Sure, there’s still a nice electronic brush atop it, but the song is all about the perfect balance and execution, shining through at the 2:44 mark as the song hits that euphoric finale. If you dig what you hear, the album is available now via Soliti Music.
We’re nearly 3/4 of the way through what has been a crazy ride of a year, and for me, I’ve really delved into two things, cooking and music. Cooking for my family, just for joy and taking up time, and music for my solace. So, I thought why not combine the two with a new feature we could run…highlight some great music and some great food. We begin this journey by reaching out to Sarra Keppola of Rules; we talk about the band’s debut LP, literature and, of course, her recipe for Overnight Focaccia. They release their self-titled album this Friday via Soliti Music! Read more
First, I’m really really into what Finnish outfit Rules are doing at the moment. They’re crafting these undeniably catch pop tunes, built around heavy synth work and melodic vocals you can’t hide from. Sure, tons of folks are doing that at the moment, says you, but none quite so convincing at this duo. Plus, through their work, they’re also utilizing their love for literature and literary storytelling alike. This single is based upon the Raymond Carver short story “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love;” so, as a person dabbling in the teaching of English, I’m always drawn to those who utilize literature in their own storytelling. They will be releasing their debut album on August 21st via Soliti.
Back at the beginning of this pandemic we were introduced to the literature-influenced synth pop act Rules; their first single was an homage to Haruki Murakami. This time round, they’re reimagining JM Barrie’s Wendy, telling the story through sparkling pop. I like how the shimmering synth work sort of hangs back; it definitely swells in your ears, but it doesn’t get int he way for the performance of Iiti Yli-Harja’s vocal performance. She comes in with a hint of 80s pop nostalgia coming across like a more rehearsed Tiffany; there’s just this extreme frivolity in her voice, and I can’t pull away. The group release their self-titled debut this August courtesy of Soliti Music.
Rules came to my attention because of their affiliation with our friend in Finland, Soliti Music. The band celebrate their union with the label by dropping this really great synth pop number. If you were to ask my two cents, I thought the introductory two minutes might have gone on for maybe 20-30 seconds too long, but peel that away and you have this well-crafted gem akin to the work of the Knife, only made more accessible by a certain polish to the songwriting. Plus, ever into their artistry, the song draws inspiration from a Murakami character in “Drive My Car.” Also, if you’re into singer Iiti here, be sure to check out her other band Pintandwefall, who released one of my favorite tunes of this year.
You’ve likely already seen this new Hoops jam pop up; it’s like a cross between catchy dream pop and Mac DeMarco, so all the kids are happy. Me, I’m happy because we’re getting close to Spring time and to SXSW, which they’ll be attending. This song serves as the announcement that the band will be working with Fat Possum to release their debut, Routines, on May 5th. Want some dreamy pop, but not ready to come to the dark side of indiepop yet? Well, then get into these guys, they’re the perfect point just in the middle.