The New Magnetic North and Verões

Today sees the release of two excellent Finnish albums. First up is the Helsinki-based The New Magnetic North and their debut album Letters On the Floor. The core group of Pyry Suomala, Maria Pääkkönen, Mikael Tiittanen comes from the now disbanded Skip Zone, so if you got high marks on your Finnish americana exam, there’s a good chance you’ve already spent a while in the comfort of their songs. At first this was actually supposed to be just a project for the songwriter Pyry Suomala, but eventually one thing led to another and The New Magnetic North became a full six-piece band. The debut Letters on the Floor is a damn fine alternative country album with a fair share of pop melodies and beautiful harmonies. Here’s the gorgeous album opener and title track + another deep album cut Sky Hangs Loose. The latter one features Ninni Poijärvi on violin. Listen to / buy the whole beautiful album on their Bandcamp.

The New Magnetic North at Facebook

Next we have the Finnish indie songbook as presented by verões aka Petri Nakari. The self-titled verões album contains new versions of songs by (should be) indie legends ultrasport, Sister Flo, The Rollstons, Harry Hunks, Laidun and TV-Resistori. Onechordnet veterans are probably well aware of these lovely bands, because back in the day they all were a big part of the foundation of this little website. Therefore it’s definitely no wonder that I love to hear these beautifully re-imagined versions of these songs that are blissfully stuck in my heart for as long as I breathe. Here’s
verões giving a new leash of life to You Are Evil (originally by ultrasport) and Balloons (originally by The Rollstons). Listen to / buy the whole lovely album on his Bandcamp.

verões at Bandcamp

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Four Arms to Hold You: Jari Raaste, Hulda Huima, Salaliitto & Sur-rur

Another one of these silly Four Arms posts for tonight, but don’t worry these will stop or at least slow down after tomorrow. This time it’s a small finnhits video special. Or well at least these should-be hits. First up is the brand new super catchy smooth soulshaker Ilmalaiva from Jari Raaste. There’s a 7″ single coming out on the legendary Fonal Records (pre-order a copy here) on the 5th of July, but there’s already a groovy music video rising from the horizon.

Jari Raaste at Facebook

Diving back into the Kalevi Suopursu video vaults for this next one. He directed both the Jari Raaste video above and this one by Hulda Huima. Kind of a shame that I already posted my favourite Finnish song of the year Halla a few days ago, because this could have been a Kalevi edition of this series. Anyway, the big news here is that there’s a new Hulma Huima album Maa coming out on Helmi Levyt on the 16th of August. The lead single Outo tyttö has been out there in the atk-world for a few months, but has been included here only on the playlist. Which is just wrong and criminal, because I love her songs. Doesn’t everybody. So here’s finally the video for Outo tyttö.

Hulda Huima at Facebook

Next we are going on a drive with Salaliitto. Their new album Puolet came out on Soit Se Silti on the 15th of February and it’s definitely another one that hasn’t gotten enough attention on this little blog. Thankfully I think all the Finnish readers know that they are marvellous and my random ramblings isn’t at all necessary. There’s a fairly new music video outtake from this great album. Valtatie 8 is the song and the music video was directed by Tommi Rantamäki.

Salaliitto Website

This last one isn’t a music video, but I thought I’ll wrap this one together with a couple of new songs from the all-time great Sur-rur. Their 2019 album carries the name Hattarahiukset and it came out 23rd of March on Roku Records / Joteskii Groteskii. If you’ve ever wanted to hear a Finnish rock song that dives deep into the circa ’70-’75 era of Fleetwood Mac, your dreams have been answered. This brilliant album also investigates the current state of hitchhiking, admires the wondrous crime solving capability of Miss Marple, battles the radicalized bread crumb with a vacuum and eventually falls asleep in the middle of a pizza. In some blissfully weird way, it all makes perfect sense.

Sur-rur at Facebook

Four Arms to Hold You is an ongoing feature with a weird name. It might not contain a whole lot of words, but it does contain a whole lot of love towards the featured songs. Basicly this is just four albums / songs / artists that have done their part in holding me together and therefore I want to tell the world or the seven readers of this blog how much I love them. Not entirely sure do these kind of posts serve any kind of purpose and I do hope I manage to write longer posts too. Right now it just feels like the playlists and these kind of short posts are the only way to keep this dear hobby alive. Plus it’s really the music that matters, not my random ramblings and these posts will always contain magical music.

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Four Arms to Hold You: Janne Tapion Sisäinen Avaruus, MeriTuuli, Kielo Kärkkäinen & Amuri

The weather is too hot for staying inside blogging so instead I went outdoors to do the exactly same thing. Quite frankly it’s too hot here as well, but let’s do a small Finnish language special, because so much wonderful Finnish music has been released during the past month or so.

Starting from Tampere with the new Janne Tapion Sisäinen Avaruus album Maapallon hautajaiset. It just came out last Friday 31st of May on Lumpeela Julkaisut and I’m very fond of it. The whole album is really good and contains engaging folk rock songs with a lot of pop sensibility. The biggest treasure on the album is the song called Kaikki oli paremmin ennen and this one should be a radio hit on every station.

Janne Tapion Sisäinen Avaruus Website

I’ve managed to miss MeriTuuli until their recent run of singles. I’m sort of ashamed about that, because based on these songs in question, not knowing about them feels like a criminal offence for a Finnish music blogger. Anyway, MeriTuuli is a Finnish folk/pop band led by twin sisters Meri and Tuuli Wallenius. They are releasing their new EP Yö Saimaalla next week and the early singles Ruusut and Minä Odotan are both wonderful. The first one also appeared in a form of a beautiful music video.

MeriTuuli Website

There’s also a new folk single from Kielo Kärkkäinen and this one is quietly spectacular. A light breeze of the music carrying the heavy burden of the lyrics. So easily and instantly enjoyable, yet there’s so much depth & detail. Keitä me olemme is the first single from a forthcoming album that will be released by Texicalli Records in the fall of 2019.

Kielo Kärkkäinen Website

This last song for today has been out for several months, but I think I’ve only posted it on the playlist. And well that’s just not right, because this is probably my favourite Finnish song of the whole year. It’s the debut single Halla from a new band called Amuri. The musicians aren’t actually newcomers though, because if you look at that cover photo above you might recognise some usual suspects. I love everything about this starting from that Asko Raivio homage in the cover art. A glorious wistful pop song that reminds me of Kaseva. What’s not to love. I hope there’s more on the horizon and Helmi Levyt will bring us more Amuri music during the coming months.

Four Arms to Hold You is an ongoing feature with a weird name. It might not contain a whole lot of words, but it does contain a whole lot of love towards the featured songs. Basicly this is just four albums / songs / artists that have done their part in holding me together and therefore I want to tell the world or the seven readers of this blog how much I love them. Not entirely sure do these kind of posts serve any kind of purpose and I do hope I manage to write longer posts too. Right now it just feels like the playlists and these kind of short posts are the only way to keep this dear hobby alive. Plus it’s really the music that matters, not my random ramblings and these posts will always contain magical music.

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Laura Gibson, Leah Senior, The Wild Reeds, Sharon Van Etten and Ylva Haru

Hey, it’s 2019. I think it’s time to start again and do some other kind of posts too and not just the weekly playlist. Kicking things off with just a quick video post though. I’m still a little bit stuck in 2018 and therefore I have to start by posting the new music video from my favorite album of last year. I Don’t Want Your Voice To Move Me is the ending song of Laura Gibson’s phenomenal album Goners. A gorgeous music video to accompany a deeply moving song.

Laura Gibson Website

This is another one that came out in 2018 and just got a music video. Graves is the latest single from Australian folk singer-songwriter Leah Senior. Her album Pretty Faces was in my top 10 back in 2017 and I’ve been eagerly waiting for more. I hope there’s an album on the horizon, because this new single is again so gorgeous. Graves came out on Flightless Records on the 14th of December 2018.

Leah Senior Website

Moving on to the best songs of 2019. Sharon Van Etten’s new album Remind Me Tomorrow came out on the 18th of January on Jagjaguwar. The highlight of that album is this brilliant song Seventeen. “Began as Lucinda Williams-esque, but wound up as more of an upbeat nod to Bruce Springsteen” says the press release. That’s some high level namedropping, but this time the song can actually live up to that.

Sharon Van Etten Website

New The Wild Reeds album Cheers is coming out on Dualtone on the 8th of March. A couple of outtakes are already available. I love this latest one Don’t Pretend. It’s a bit more relatable to me than what I would like to admit. I should learn from it, because I master at crawling into my self-inflicted misery. I can’t wait to hear the whole album in March.

The Wild Reeds Website

The Delines album is probably the best album I’ve heard this year, but this one by Ylva Haru is the one that I’ve loved the most and the one I’ve listened to the most. Ylva Haru aka Finnish folk singer-songwriter Lotta Jääskelä has created an endearingly beautiful and deeply moving album. I hope I manage to write something a bit more detailed about it during the coming weeks. If not, I still want to let the world and/or the seven regular readers know that I love this. The album Linnut came out on the 11th of January on Soit se silti. This was a bit of video entry so let’s go with the live version of the title track on this blog entry, but you should definitely listen to the whole amazing album.

Who am I really kidding? I have to post another song too. Going through this one without shedding some happy tears is an impossible challenge. It’s also a challenge that I don’t want to win. This is Oikeiden luona by Ylva Haru. That’s it for tonight. Now I will cry myself to sleep with this song and my loved ones on my side.

Ylva Haru Website

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Top 50 Finnish Songs of the Year 2018

If the ranking of albums is a bit silly, then this ranking of songs is absolutely ridiculous. So don’t pay much attention to the numbers side of this. It’s pretty random after the first 10-15 songs. This is just list of 50 great songs from 50 different Finnish artists. It’s a bit too long for a year end list too, because I wanted to make a playlist to go with it. This was actually just as important and to be honest the flow of the playlist had a little bit to do with the order here and there. So that’s one reason why the numbers are useless. Music is life, not a competition.

I’m sure there’s again some that I forgot (and of course lot that I haven’t even heard), because it’s difficult to find enough time push these list through while working the day job too. The real monster lists. International albums and songs still to come. That’s why I also kept my ramblings to a minimum. Not that those would be interesting anyway. There’s a Spotify below, if you are into that sort of thing.

Top 50 Finnish Songs of the Year 2018

50. Kadonnut Manner – Antroposeeni
49. Petäjä – Fading (Pinetree Music)
48. Sammal – Suuliekki (Svart Records)
47. Matti Jasu – The Money Pit (listen here)
46. Pienet Koirat – Lähehä (listen here)
45. Puunhalaaja – Vanha kettu (Soliti)
44. Pottonen Band – Juggling Eggs (NXVX)
43. Antti Autio – Kallio (Soit se silti)
42. Linkopii – Bedillä (Luova)
41. Pastis – Amazon (Stupido Records)
40. Merries – Starting Over (Royal Mint)
39. Kielo Kärkkäinen – Kuunnelkaa (Texicalli)
38. Havut – Muisteja (Lumpeela julkaisut)
37. Kiki Pau – Leaves (Beyond Beyond is Beyond)
36. Tams – Sori Sori Sori
35. The Handkerchiefs – The Law
34. Lähtevät Kaukojunat – Tyttö tuollainen (Airiston Punk-Levyt)
33. Mara Balls – Maailma Palaa (Stupido Records)
32. Jylhä Yrjö – Miksi me teimme sen (Iso Pinkki)
31. Joonas Holmen + The Lossy Codecs – Launching Down on Tracks (Fuu Recs)
30. Mahonies – Apology (Iso Pinkki)
29. Skip Zone – Nobody Cries
28. Rami Vierula – Pakko liikkua
27. Message Field – Substance (Soit se silti)
26. Klasu – Kultaakin kalliimpaa (Soit se silti)
25. Janne Tapion sisäinen avaruus – Harmaa kivi (Lumpeela julkaisut)
24. Hullu Ruusu – Kun heräät aamulla (Helmi Levyt)
23. Tomi Nordlund & Syvä joki – Olen täällä sinua varten (Soit se silti)
22. Karina – Bambi (Playground)
21. The New Tigers – In the Tall Grass (Soliti)
20. New Silver Girl – Alms (Soliti)
19. J. Karjalainen – Terve, Sirkka Lautamies (Warner)
18. Laura Moisio – Syyt (Texicalli)
17. Kynnet – Mitä muuta (Svart Records)
16. Litku Klemetti – Miksi en lähtisi kaupunkiin (Luova Records)
15. Too Slow – Flairs (Royal Mint)
14. Iron Country Sisters – Go Slow
13. Rosita Luu – Äiti (Helmi Levyt)
12. Vuoret – Mennään rannalle (Soit se silti)
11. Kuumat Siivet – Itke hänet pois (Rhythm Barrel Records)
10. Tuomas Palonen – Hämärä (Palatsi)
9. Jolly Jumpers – Morning Glory (Jukan musiikki)
8. Jukka Nousiainen – Suuret unelmat (Jukan musiikki)
7. Liljankukka – Liverpool L8 (Karhuvaltio Records)
6. Penniless – Dark Room (Soit se silti)
5. Mitä helvettiä nyt taas – Kohta kuollaan kaikki (Nature Sucks Anyway Records)
4. Pää Kii – Sä veit mun levyt kirpparille (Stupido Records)

3. Salaliitto – 29250 (Soit se silti)

If I ever end up on some kind of quiz show, I hope they ask Nakkila’s post code because I think I will remember that for as long as I live. This good kind of earworm 29250 is the first single from the next Salaliitto album. It’s not necessarily even the best new Salaliitto song that I’ve heard during their live concerts, but it’s still absolutely wonderful and insanely catchy. A glorious nostalgic anthem for the small town hearts. It certainly takes me back to the 80s and 90s and my 42700/42560 days.

2. Lac Belot – D ‘n’ A (Solina Records)

It’s pretty much a coin flip with these first two, but Lac Belot has to settle for the second place in this category. We can’t let him run away with all these imaginary awards. Still D ‘n’ A is a song worthy of all hearts. Enchantingly beautiful folk song with rich and thoughtful arrangements.

1. Topi Saha – Valo tulee alhaalta (Warner)

And the song of the year is Valo tulee alhaalta by Topi Saha. This song absolutely floored me on first listen. There are few lines here that capture my daily inner feelings so precisely that it is almost frightening. So there’s a bit of hurt there, but it’s the good kind of hurt. The way song can heal you by first ripping you into pieces and then rebuilding the blocks in a way that you feel more whole than before listening. Topi Saha sure knows how to write a powerful and moving end to his albums.

Playlist Link

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