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.
Admittedly, Pintandwefall were not on my radar at all until this year when they announced their new album with our friends over at the Finnish label Soliti Music. But, since then I’ve fallen head over heels for the band’s sound; I can’t help but think they’d be huge if the US/UK press caught on to them. This track opens in more of a brooding fashion, carefully moving before taking on heavier tones, though always employing great melody in the vocals. For me, the biggest success in this song, however, is the bits between the verses…space-y pop vibes galore. I promise you that you’re going to love Your Stories Baby, out next week!
A couple of the tracks from this Pink Chameleons EP have hit our site before, kind of bringing back that dark psychedelic vibe into our radar. Personally, “Melting Face” might be one of my favorite tunes of the year, particularly when that chorus sort of drops in and courses through your veins…like the best song BRMC never wrote. In the end, however, one of the great things about Songs EP is that the band sound tight while traveling through various nods to their favorite genres; they seem to be honing their craft before your very ears, flirting with the edges of everything you love. I can’t stop listening to the delicate ballad that is “Reach Out,” which in the end might be my favorite of this batch of great tunes. “Smile” offers some sonic exploration from within the band’s sound, and then it’s closed out with “Word Out,” a tune that ends your listen with this heavy swagger that guarantees the band loads of coolness points. Songs EP is out Friday via Soliti Music.
I don’t know if you’re ready for this new tune from Pintandwefall; it might just be the sweetest tune you’re going to hear this week. The Finnish supergroup have been at it for over a decade, and here you can hear how the years have developed fine craftsmanship. The musical elements are kind of low in the mix, which is perfect, as the track is really all about the vocal elements. I love the lightly angelic tones of the lead voice here, but it wouldn’t be nearly as successful if you didn’t have the chorale atmosphere behind it; its vocal texturing at its very best. Such a powerful number; it will be on their new effort, Your Stories Baby, which is being released by Soliti Music on January 17th (apparently in honor of my birthday).
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.
We’re only about a month away from the release of Aligning, the new LP from Finnish outfit, Cats of Transnistria. You’ll probably need at least two of the weeks leading up to the release just to digest the tune in full. The song is almost a meditation, a slow unfolding of emotional atmospherics coated in Henna’s vocals. A slight elevation and bright pop turn comes in around the 2 minute mark, but its fleeting and quickly turns towards a continued billowing of darkly tinged pop constructs. Just imagine your favorite dream pop band stripped of those buzzing guitars, replaced with sparse chords and patience and a never-ending tension. The new LP drops on November 29th via Soliti.
Somewhere in the 1960s, a group of friends gathered outside of a haunted house, deep in the hills, as the sun set, coating the world in darkness…or so the story goes. The soundtrack to that scene very well could be this tune from Pink Chameleons, though we’d have to travel back in time. In the recording of the vocals, you can hear this sort of howl, like the spirits turning notes into ghostly sounds that will haunt the friends. The fuzzy guitar buzz resonates, feeding the line between spirit world and those on the plane of Earth, blurring the lines as the psychedelic stop jangles through your speakers. Cool vibe, no? You’ll catch this track on the band’s new Songs EP, out December 13th via Soliti.
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.
Be forewarned…the brand new Swan/Koistinen EP is a sobering four track collection. In the time of the endless scroll, we often talk about hyperbole and boost hopeful hyped artists. But, here we have two established musicians, Astrid Swan and Stina Koistinen crafting four songs that document their experience as cancer survivors; it’s four songs of these two women putting that experience on the table for all to see. Musically, I’m drawn to the throbbing pulse of “Hospital,” while I’m also growing to love the arrangements that accompany “Symptoms.” Honestly, it’s a tough listen lyrically, but perhaps one that provides many a fan with solace…ultimately ending in the joy of “Singing.” Just wanted to share it with you all; it’s available from our friends at Soliti.