Delay Trees is a good reason for you to start planning some sort of cake/shoe attack against me. I got this beautiful record as a promo a few months ago. I really liked it and yet I still never wrote anything. Exactly how bad person am I? Pretty bad at least in this case. Lazyness is a bad excuse. Before my guilty conscience drives me insane, I try to make amends with this quick blog entry.
The Soft Construction EP is full of insightful and tender pop music. It’s a very beautifully crafted and thoughtfully arranged little record. A few times it almost becomes too ambitious for me, because I prefer simple things and simple songs. But even for me, it never gets too far and the core of the song is never lost. It remains in your heart. A lot of high profile pop releases will struggle to reach the level of this self-released beauty.
Delay Trees Website
Delay Trees at myspace
Guilty conscience part 2. I’ve also known Waterloo for quite a long time, but I think I have never mentioned them at onechord.net (their previous life form The Dance did feature though). I’m not entirely sure about the name Waterloo, but there’s no worries in the music department. There are no official releases available, but you can listen and download songs from their myspace. Maybe that one real killer song is still missing, but this is really good guitar pop nevertheless. Looking forward for more.
Waterloo at myspace
Olento: Jill Nissinen
Thank you goes to Darwin and Räkärodeo mailing list for this one. He praised this song there and I went and check it out once, twice.. well about twenty times. I’m definitely in love with this song. I think it captures all that was great in the finest finnish 60’s/70’s pop/”iskelmä” ballads. I could picture someone like Kaseva singing this back then and that is as high as a praise can get. The mood of the song is a perfect match with the lyrics and that voice is so warm that it will melt your heart even if you have built an iceberg around it. I don’t know anything about Olento or Jukka Kokkonen (apparently the man behing Olento), but Jill Nissinen is starting to feel like a close friend after listening to this song over and over again.
Olento at myspace
Kaseva: Turhaan huudat mua
Because Olento somehow brought Kaseva to my mind, I checked out whether there were any Kaseva videos at youtube. There was and this one above took my breath away. Now that is what I call singing and that’s something that I would like to see nowadays as well. Just drum set behind and four guys in front all singing their hearts out. For me harmony vocals is the most important part in music and therefore seeing something like that just completely blows my mind away. The clip is from Yle 1 program Pop-Liisa from 1976.
Maybe this linking of youtube videos is getting out of hand in this blog, but I’m still going to start this new section and add some old or new finnish pop videos once or twice in a week. It’s an easy & quick way to praise the bands that you love. And on the plus side I also remember to watch these videos of songs that once meant a lot to me. And well still do, because I just end up watching that Sugarrush video about ten times in a row.
The Sugarrush: Stereo
The best way to start is throwing in The Sugarrush’s Stereo. A video that I’ve probably seen hundreds of times and I don’t even think that’s an exaggeration. The Sugarrush is the hardest rockin’ pop band in the world and one of my own huge favourites. Stereo is an opening track of their second album Mirrorball Ballerinas that was released back in 2001.
The Sugarrush at myspace
Elliot Scale: Innerspace
Elliot Scale’s Innerspace featured in the Meet The Scene compilation, but unfortunately the rest of Elliot Scale’s excellent song material was never officially released, because sadly Olli Linna (aka Elliot Scale) passed away way ahead of his time in 2002. Olli Linna was a great musician, producer and an all around nice guy. He featured in bands like Time Flies and Cartoon Tree, but Elliot Scale was his solo project. It’s a shame that he never had the chance to finish that Elliot Scale material, because he had a lot of great pop songs. I lost those mp3s in a hard drive failure few years back, but thankfully Innerspace is still available at youtube.
Just before hitting the sack, myspace alerted me with a friend request from Emitt Rhodes Band. It appears to be that Emitt Rhodes is back in the studio making new music. Other big news is that there is also a documentary coming out and last but not least. Universal is planning to release a four cd box set of Emitt’s solo albums. Now that would be worth of one of those onechord.net imaginary culture awards. Emitt was a truly magnificent pop songwriter (often compared to Paul McCartney) in the early seventies and especially his self-titled album is a true classic. Unfortunately most of his records are nowadays out of print. Is there anything other available than Rev-Ola’s The Merry-Go-Round best of that has The American Dream as a bonus (The Merry-Go-Round was Emitt’s band before solo career. That is excellent stuff as well). Therefore it has been a struggle to get hold of these masterpieces. I’m actually still missing the Farewell To Paradise album. I sincerely hope that plans of the box set are true and some myspace geek isn’t just winding me up. It would be about time to let newer pop generations learn the greatness of Emitt Rhodes.
The Emitt Rhodes Band at myspace
A power pop record of the year 2009? Well that’s too early to say, but this really is a wonderful pop record. Tinded Windows is obviously the new band where pop legends Adam Schlesinger, James Iha and Bun E. Carlos have joined forces with Taylor Hanson. Self-titled debut has been out now for few weeks and it’s getting rather mixed reviews. For me it’s hard to understand why popmatters gave this 2 out of 10 and said it might be the worst release of the year so far. Heck, if this high energy pop blast is the worst of the year, it must be one hell of a year. Sure this might be just whole lot of fun packed into simple, energic pop songs about the girls they either have, have lost or are only dreaming about, but exactly when did that become a bad thing. For example Messing With My Head is just one gorgeous pop song with a real killer chorus. Where’s that Taylor Hanson fansite? I wanna join in. Oh, and when mentioning James Iha every self-respecting pop snob has to say that James Iha’s solo debut Let It Come Down is a fantastic album (for example better than anything The Smashing Pumpkins ever did, not that I have anything against Smashing Pumpkins) and please James make another solo album.
Tinted Windows website
Tinted Windows at myspace
And then something completely different. After being entertained by Tinted Windows, it’s time to let Alela Diane’s amazing voice carry you into the most beautiful surroundings. Be still and be captivated. Alela Diane is a true great among folk artists. She has found some masterful way to make this highly artistic music be so easily accessible. As you well know, I’m a rather simple boy (that Tinted Windows praising being a good example) and my problem with folk chanteusses often is that eventhough I appreciate the artistic value of it, I just find myself getting bored in the long run. Joanna Newsom is a prime example. As much as I would like to love her, I just have to admit that I don’t. But Alela Diane. I love her. That acoustic beauty of the songs. Those amazing vocal melodies. Like hugs wrapped around your heart. To Be Still. Alela Diane. An incredible album.
Alela Diane at myspace
A few hours after writing that previous entry about those two australian pop bands, I stumbled upon the website of The Lost and Lonesome Recording Co and some sad news from the australian pop front hit my heart. The Lucksmiths have decided to break up next fall after a farewell tour.
They’ve been around for a long time and done more than their share in the holy quest of filling the world with perfect pop songs. They can fully enjoy their retirement after such a career, but it’s still hard not to feel sad when we lose one of the most consistent performers in the pop field. None of their records failed to deliver and they were always on the top of their game. Now they are ready to enter the indie pop hall of fame (or should I say hall of no fame but an incredible amount of wonderful pop songs) and I’m ready to take a game misconduct for using hockey jargon in an entry dedicated to the legendary australian pop group The Lucksmiths. Shame on me. I’ll leave you with one of my own favourite The Lucksmith songs Untidy Towns.
The Lucksmiths website