It seems like the five year wait for new music from Black Twig has really worked out in our favor, as the group share another incredible single from their forthcoming Was Not Looking for Magic. I was committed to loving this song when it opened with that sort of pastoral post punk feel, circling guitars over a thundering rhythm section. Still, I was blown away by Aki’s performance here; he sounds huge and solemn, creating this sort of fatherly comfort; the forceful jump in the chorus is equally matched, putting his range on display for all of us to enjoy. I know there’s a lot of hype around releases, but this song just made the new LP jump to the top of my list! Look for Was Not Looking for Magic on February 26th via Soliti.
I’ve been really high upon Verandan since the band first came about, admittedly drawn to them by Ville Hopponen’s connection to indiepop greats Cats on Fire. But, as all great songwriters do, he’s clearly crafting his own path with this new project. Today we bring you news that the band will release a brand new 7″ via Soliti and Cloudberry Records, two labels we love. This tune that accompanies the announcement has the group really settling into their subtle indiepop vibes, its almost like a laid back lounge performance. Where you typically find sharp guitars knifing through, you get a bit more warmth and swirling dream notes, letting the vocals come in with their melodic croon. Plus, the arrangements behind it all build in this texture that allows the song to brim with pop sensibility that goes beyond categorization. The 7″ will be available on February 20th.
This wonderful tune from KO:MI has been floating about for a few days, and I’ve been meaning to get it out there, but you know, this week’s been a roller coaster. Alas, its Friday and we should have some clarity over here (fingers crossed!), so it seems that I should try to lift your spirits…and here we are. There’s this entrancing bit that opens the song, before it builds and lifts into this theatrical euphoria; vocals come in and out, but it’s really all about the creative elements intermingling in this cauldron of pop sensibility. If you feel like being swept up today, then by all means, get lost in this track. We Said We Didn’t Know But We Knew, the new album, is out next Friday via Soliti Music.
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.
Helsinki four-piece Love Sport are no stranger to these pages, particularly with their latest batch of rocking singles. But, today we’ve got more than singles, we’ve got the whole album for you to stream before it’s official release this Friday! While “The Biggest Liar in Town” introduces the record with the group’s own brand of alternative rock, they’re not here looking back to the good ol’ days, instead channeling a “vision of four friends playing music together.” My standout favorite was “Life’s a Joke” at the beginning; it kind of reminds me of the Men if they were to bring on more of a pop flavor. “Keying Cars” was a nice little twist too, tossing in this slow burning ballad that brims with pop sensibility. Walking away, “Giant Hoof” might also be my favorite jam…those guitars falling off the tracks, only to be reined in by the vocals! And Justice for All has a little something for everybody! Look for the record Friday via Soliti Music.
This week’s been a real struggle; I feel like it has to be Saturday, yet its Thursday? Whatever, I need to rock this day into gear, so I’ll turn us all towards this new Love Sport jam. It instantly feels like you’re out of control, as discordant guitar lines feel like they’re hurtling towards disaster. Then another guitar line comes in to settle things down, drive the song forward with intensity and purpose. Still, the vocals feel like they’re harnessing the band’s wild side, especially when the vocals get their backing reinforcement, often done in a euphoric howl. They’ll be releasing their excellent new And Justice for All LP on May 22nd via Soliti Music.
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.
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.