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.
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).