Tag Archives: Finland

July 22, 2018 — “Piritorilta Taivaaseen” by Teksti TV 666

Teksti TV 666

If you only listen to one song today, make it “Piritorilta Taivaaseen” by Teksti TV 666 (2016, from the album 1, 2, 3).
Teksti TV 666 is a garage punk/motorik/shoegaze septet from Helsinki. They formed a few years ago and released 1, 2, 3 in October of 2016, but I had never heard of them until I got something in the mail bag promoting their album Aidattu Tulevaisuus, which will be released on September 7 via Svart Records. To be fair, I also got something in the mailbag in advance of the release of 1, 2, 3, but it somehow slipped through the cracks.

The band is known for its army of no less than five guitars. They’re also known for their intoxicating sound, which is sort of hard to categorize. They have elements of psych rock, punk rock, shoegaze, metal, motorik, and just standard rock music. Today’s song is very much in the motorik style. I think of today’s song as what Transient Random…-era Stereolab might have sounded like if they had six guitars instead of Vox organs and Farfisas and Moog organs and other synths. Then mash that up with some Hüsker Dü, and this is what you might get.

Although I have a lot of interest in Finland, especially the hockey players from Finland, and although that country is very high on my list of places I’d like to visit, I don’t speak any Finnish. Sure, I know a small handful of words, but I don’t even know basics of conversation. Thankfully, there are resources, and I know that “Piritorilta Taivaaseen” translates to “From Amphetamine Square to Heaven”. This is a reference to a city plaza in Helsinki where lots of drug deals go down.

This is that song:
“Piritorilta Taivaaseen” by Teksti TV 666

Although you won’t notice it right away, the other thing that the band is known for is that they sing in Finnish. They speak English, and the members have been in other bands that sung in English, but they decided to go with their native tongue. That decision is in part because the songs on 1, 2, 3 are largely about some local characters in and around Helsinki, and it seemed appropriate to do the songs in Finnish.

For the majority of the song, it has that motorik, Stereolab-esque sound that I mentioned, but it takes a bit of a turn at about 4:25. Once the vocals really kick in, that motorik sound keeps going, but it’s lower in the mix.
Meanwhile, some of the guitars are doing more of a mid-1980s Minneapolis punk-rock thing.

I love this song, and while I haven’t spent any time with the rest of 1, 2, 3, I recommend downloading it from Bandcamp here.

I have spent some time with the forthcoming release, and while I can’t share any of the songs with you, I can tell you that they’re all great. You can pre-order Aidattu Tulevaissus here. And you should, because it’s fantastic.

January 4, 2018 — “No Lies” by Flying Cape Experience

Flying Cape Experience

If you only listen to one song today, make it “No Lies” by Flying Cape Experience (2017, from the single “No Lies”).
Flying Cape Experience is a dream pop/indie folk/ambient shoegaze duo from Tampere, Finland. Tampere, as you know, is the hometown of Winnipeg Jets superstar Patrick Laine. I wrote about the band way back in 2015 when they were about to release their sophomore album. Now, they’re about to release their third album via the Portuguese label El Vals del Conejo , and they’ve put out a single in advance of it. The band recently contacted me with news of the just-released single and I told them I was more than happy to help spread the word.
This is decidedly less “ambient shoegaze” and more “dream-folk” than their previous stuff. Their other songs that I’ve heard remind me of Mazzy Star, but this is different. On this song, I’m reminded a bit of Azure Ray. Lots of acoustic guitar, hushed angelic vocals, and bits of delay to make it all warm and cozy on a snowy day.
I really like this single, which I assume will be on the forthcoming album. I’ll look forward to that. They haven’t announced a release date yet, but they say it’ll be early in 2018.
For now, this is their new song:
“No Lies” by Flying Cape Experience

I quite like the organ at the beginning and the way that it beautifully fades into the acoustic guitar. Around the 4:00 mark, when the synthetic strings come in and the acoustic guitar gets bigger and jangly, I’m reminded a bit of the criminally underappreciated Delicious Monster.

You can grab a download of today’s song via Bandcamp. Better yet, you can get the entire El Vals del Conejo catalog for just $19.50 USD here. The label also features This is That Song alumni The Virgance, and some other really cool bands in the realm of dream pop. Just in case you were wondering about that label’s name, “El Vals del Canejo” translates to “Waltz of the Rabbit”.

12.11.2015 — “Nowhere” by Swaying Wires

Swaying Wires

If you only listen to one song tonight, make it “Nowhere” by Swaying Wires (2016, from the forthcoming album I Left A House Burning).

Swaying Wires is an Americana quartet from Turku, Finland. That’s the same hometown as NHL legends Saku and Mikko Koivu, as well as former Calgary Flames netminder Miikka Kiprusoff, among others. Although I am a serious fan of the Carolina Hurricanes, I really like those Koivu boys. Mikko is in his eleventh NHL season, all with the Minnesota Wild. He is the Minnesota Wild, and I love that. Saku has always been one of my favorite players. Unfortunately, he was constantly harassed by the xenophobic French-speaking media in Montréal, where he was a long-time captain, because he didn’t speak French fluently. He was, though, adored by the fans in Montréal and around the league. Partly because he was a fantastic player and a great team captain, and partly because he beat cancer. Mostly, though, he was just Saku freakin Koivu. He’s all of that. They say that Saku Koivu is the very essence of sisu. We don’t have that in the English language. It’s more than “courage”. It’s more than “bravery”. It’s more than “not worrying about the fact that the chips are stacked against you”. It’s all of that and much more. And it’s a uniquely Finnish quality.

Anyway, this band is from the same town as Saku Koivu. They put out their debut album Some Blue Sky in March of 2014, and a lot of people referenced the likes of Neko Case and Mazzy Star in reviews of that album. I haven’t heard that record, and I only found out about Swaying Wires when an advance promo of the forthcoming album landed in my inbox the other day. I don’t think I can get behind the Mazzy Star comparison, but tonight’s song certainly reminds me a lot of Neko Case. It sounds like it could have been a song from the magnificent Blacklisted. It reminds me, even more specifically, of the song “Deep Red Bells”. But that’s about as far as the Neko Case parallel goes. On another song called “Surrender”, Tina Kärkinen (vocals/acoustic guitar) reminds me of Kristin Hersh. On most of the other songs, I’ve got no ready comparisons.

“Nowhere” is the second song on the sophomore record by Swaying Wires, and it will be available from January 15 via Battle Worldwide Recordings.

This is that song:

“Nowhere” by Swaying Wires

I love how big and broad the vocal track is, especially during the choruses. I also love the delicate drumming, especially the cymbal crashes. To be honest, I love everything about this song. The rest of the album is quite good too.

You can go here for album pre-order information.

09.10.2015 — “Finland” by Vet Trip

Vet Trip — “Finland”

If you only listen to one song today, make it “Finland” by Vet Trip (2014, from a standalone digital single).

Vet Trip is a shoegaze/dream pop band from Austin, Texas. I know absolutely nothing about them, and I just found out about them via Soundcloud. I sort of assume that this is a duo, and I do know that the guy is named Thomas Blank. I have no idea about the woman. He’s recorded some stuff under his own name, plus six Vet Trip songs on Soundcloud, including a really dreamy, slowed-down cover of the Joy Division song “Transmission”. I highly recommend that you listen to that here.

Today’s song is a perfect blend of dream pop and shoegaze. That description might bring Slowdive to mind, and this will certainly be appealing to Slowdive fans, but this doesn’t sound a whole lot like Slowdive. This sounds like its own thing, and it sounds great to me.

“Finland” by Vet Trip

Lots of bright sounds, tons of delay, a lot of waves and undertow. And noise. Beautiful noise. At the very end, there’s that part where they lifted some Finnish-language spoken word stuff. I don’t know if it’s from a teevee show or a movie, or just some stuff being spoken.

The band has no internet presence that I could find, other than the Soundcloud page with those six songs. I have no idea if there’s a forthcoming release of any kind, but I really hope that there is.

06.16.2015 — “Always” by Flying Cape Experience

Flying Cape Experience

If you only listen to one song today, make it “Always” by Flying Cape Experience (2015, from the forthcoming album We’re All Gonna Die). Flying Cape Experience is an ambient dream-folk/dream-pop/”lovegaze” duo from Finland. They’ve left almost no digital footprint in the interwebs, and after a bit of research, the only thing I can gather is that their names are Akira Kosminen and Jo Annah (also sometimes listed as “Johanna”). They formed in 2013, and they released an album called Let’s Sing More About The Eyes in May of that year. That album was released on a Portuguese label called El Vals del Conejo, and they’ve done a couple of collaborations with the owner of that label who is in a band called Joaquim Barato. Next week, on the summer solstice (June 21), that label will digitally release We’re All Gonna Die — the sophomore album by Flying Cape Experience. I found out about this band the same way I find out about a lot of bands: soundcloud. Usually, that’s a good springboard to other places where I can find a reasonable amount of biographical information for my posts. That’s not the case with this band. There just isn’t any information out there. I can’t even find out what their hometown is. Their soundcloud and Facebook profiles list “Flying Cape” as their hometown. It’s quite clear that this band wants there to be some mystery about who they are. That’s fine. They can tell us as much or as little about themselves as they want. I think it’s almost better this way. The pre-release sneak preview of the new album is a six song set that you can find at soundcloud here. I assume that the full album will have nine or ten songs, but this is a great set nonetheless. Today’s song reminds me quite a bit of Mazzy Star. Although there’s a fuzzy bit in the middle, most of the song centers around the acoustic guitar and some heavily delayed vocals. And she really sounds like Hope Sandoval on this song.

“Always” by Flying Cape Experience I’ve listened to the other songs in the set, and they’re all very good. This is the only one that reminds me of Mazzy Star, though. So don’t expect a redux of So Tonight That I Might See. Just expect a good record. There’s no pre-order, and I assume that there won’t be a physical release. You’ll be able to purchase a download of the new album on the release date of June 21. Be sure to bookmark the El Vals del Conejo bandcamp page

10.23.13 — “Hallucination Diaries” by Revival Hymns

Revival Hymns

If you only watch one music video tonight, make it “Hallucination Diaries” by Revival Hymns (from the forthcoming 2014 album Pauhu)

Revival Dreams is a post-rock/shoegaze/drone rock five-piece from Tampere, Finland. They have a new record coming out in January, the title of which translates to English as “Roar”. It’s their second album after Feathers, which was released in 2011.

I had never heard of this band until this morning when I got something in the mailbag about this video.

Because I know literally nothing about them, and because it’s getting a little late where I live, I’ll just get right down to it.

For the first half of the song, I’m reminded a bit of something like June of 44 or The Shipping News. Something in between “post-hardcore” and “post-rock”. Then, when the guy in the video loses his sausage in the fire and completely loses his mind, the song takes a turn in a slightly different direction. More in the “post-rock” direction. Big, wailing walls of guitar sound. It’s a bit more bass-y than most “post-rock”, but it’s not so bass-y that it turns me off.

It’s a bit of a strange video. I’m not sure what’s going on with the guy. Alone in the wilderness, confused, and injured. He’s having hallucinations. Seeing people who aren’t there. And then, after being chased through the woods, he’s suddenly playing drums for those guys. Don’t let the video distract you one way or another. It’s a good song with or without the visual stimulation.

I’ve listened to a bit of the first album, and I like this song, so I’ll definitely be looking forward to their new album.

09.04.13 — “Campfire” by Satellite Stories

Satellite Stories

If you only listen to one song today, make it “Campfire” by Satellite Stories (2013, from the forthcoming album Pine Trails).

Satellite Stories is an indie pop band from Oulu, Finland. They formed in 2008. Last year, they released their debut album Phrases to Break the Ice, and their sophomore album Pine Trails will be released on November 1 via the German indie label XYZ Berlin. Satellite Stories is the only band on the label.

Before I opened the mailbag today, I had not heard of Satellite Stories. You might not have either. But like me, you might already recognize their city of 198,000 people. Oulu is known for a few things. It’s one of the northernmost populated cities in the world. It’s the hometown of a number of NHL players, and the one most notable to me is Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Joni Pitkänen. Pitkänen is a monster on defense, gobbling up minutes and usually being a very steady, reliable defensive defenseman. When he’s on his game, he’s one of the best in the league. He has an unfortunate tendency to go through shifts or games or weeks where he isn’t playing his game. When he gets into one of those ruts, he’s one of the worst defensemen in the game. Fortunately, it doesn’t happen very often. At the end of the 2013 NHL season, Pitkänen suffered a brutal injury when he lost an edge attempting to chase down an iced puck. He fell, going feet first into the end boards. He shattered his left heel, and was projected to need 10-12 weeks of recovery time. I was at that game, and it was brutal to watch. It was brutal to watch the medical staff tend to him while the game was delayed for several minutes. 22 weeks later, he looks like he’s still a long way away from recovering. The Hurricanes got news yesterday that Pitkänen can’t even walk on the heel, let alone skate. They’re starting preparations for having to do without their star defenseman. He’ll have an MRI on Thursday, and they’ll have a better idea about if or when he’ll be back on his skates. Once that happens, and once he gets over the physical healing, there’s going to be some psychological healing to do as well. He’ll probably be quite timid for a while and might never be back to full strength.

Sorry about the hockey digression. I have to do that once in a while.

Another thing that Oulu is well-known for is that it is the host of the annual Air Guitar World Championships. You might think this is silly, and when the contest was founded in 1996, it was meant to be a joke. It was meant to be nothing more than a humorous sideshow at the Oulu Music Video Festival. Over the years, as the contestants have taken it more and more seriously, it’s become a real thing. A serious thing.
If you think that this is nothing more than a joke, watch the documentary Air Guitar Nation, which follows the path of David Jung, from winning regional championships in the US to becoming the first American to win the World Championship in 2003.

Okay. Back to the real task at hand. This great new song by Satellite Stories:

“Campfire” by Satellite Stories

It starts off very quietly and slowly. It’s very gentle. Then at 0:37, the bright lights flash and the noise comes in. I love the high energy in the choruses. In some ways, those choruses remind me of Metric. I used to dislike Metric because I thought they were just too poppy for me. I learned to love those warm, bright bursts in the chorus. And that’s what this reminds me of.

The “Campfire” single will be released on October 18, and Pine Trails on November 1.

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