Another day, another list. This time it’s Finnish albums of the year 2014. I suppose there are a few surprise omissions. For example Mirel Wagner and Pepe Willberg albums are awesome and worth all the hype, but I didn’t really listen to them that much during the year. Objectively speaking they probably are better than let’s say that Common Tones album, but I did listen to Common Tones something like 20 times more, so on my extremely subjective list, that was better and more important. Albums by Saijaa Saijaa and Räjäyttäjät might have been something that I would have loved, but I haven’t bought them yet.
10. Damn Seagulls: Let It Shine
Damn Seagulls took a little break after 2009’s slightly disappointing album Hunting Season. Thankfully they returned in 2014 and were back in top form. Let It Shine might be a little too short, but it’s probably better to release a killer 8 song album than a longer one with a few pointless fillers. Maybe Let It Shine doesn’t reach the heights of their masterpiece Soul Politics, but in the end very few Finnish albums of the past ten years do that. This is my favourite song of the album and it’s called Hold Your Head Up High.
9. Common Tones – Broken Heart Sounds
I was almost beginning to worry that I might have to remove Common Tones from this list, but the official release did finally happen in early December and wasn’t pushed until 2015. This was a big favourite of mine during the summer time when I listened to their melodic pop music for hours and hours. This is Finding Life from the album.
8. Swaying Wires: Some Blue Sky
Alternative folk from Turku-based band on a UK-based label. That combo doesn’t take place too often. Swaying Wires might still be in the development stage (and probably will get even better during the next couple of years), but they already released a stunning debut album Some Blue Sky. This is such a great album. If you grew up listening to those hauntingly beautiful indie albums by Songs:Ohia, Mazzy Star and the likes, you should give this one a chance.
7. The Wonderminers: These Fell Off The Shelf
These Fell Off The Shelf by The Wonderminers came out in January, but it hasn’t been forgotten. A magnificent album full of melodic pop music. Petri Nakari is such a good songwriter. His pop songs might not hit you instantly, but if you give the album a couple of spins, you might want to marry a song or two. This is Steve and The Silents from the album.
6. Nopat: Valonkajoa
I’m very ashamed that this beauty didn’t got the recognition it deserved on the blog. Valonkajoa by Nopat is a great record and contains a lot of songs that I hold dear. Highlights for me are Liian täydellinen that you can hear below and that awesome Big White Monkees cover Tukholma.
5. Jukka Nousiainen: Huonoa seuraa
That rock’n’roll sure is a blissful thing. Huonoa seuraa by Jukka Nousiainen is a fantastic record and I’m thrilled that it got such a great reception. I don’t exactly understand how that happened. Fantastic diy lo-fi rock’n’roll records just usually aren’t the ones that create a hype around them. Well who really cares ones anyway. Let’s just be happy that sometimes good things happen to good people. And after celebrating that cliche I just wrote, it’s time for some perfect entertainment. This is Roskalavojen rokkitähti.
4. Gim Kordon: Ei ole helppoo
Even though Gim Kordon is on the fourth place, Ei ole helppoo might have even been the Finnish album I listened to the most during the year. It’s either this or Pietarin Spektaakkeli. This just gave me energy when I needed it. It just felt damn good to listen to it. It took me to time when Kaksi-Nolla and Manilow ruled the world. Ok, they never actually ruled the world, but allow me to put some colour pen on my own nostalgic memories. And it’s not just salute to the 90s. This all felt awesome and totally relevant in 2014.
3. Koria Kitten Riot: Rich Men Poor Men Good Men
Koria Kitten Riot set high standards for the year by releasing this beauty of an album during the early stages of January. Antti Reikko has been an extremely good songwriter for quite a long time, but now this thing has reached a whole another level. Koria Kitten Riot became a full band and together they created this little masterpiece called Rich Men Poor Men Good Men. This is an amazing record full of beautifully arranged pop music.
2. Pietarin Spektaakkeli: Rakkauteen
This was the biggest surprise for me. I never thought I was going to like this and in the end I became almost obsessed with it. I first saw the video for the song Tyttö lähtee tanssimaan and I wasn’t that impressed. Then a while later I saw Janne from Nopat recommending it and then heard it playing at the local record store a few days after. I probably fell in love with it at the store, brought home a copy and after that me and this record have been a tight unit that will take care of each other. It’s just gorgeous. Kind of like blues, hip-hop, 80s Suomi rock and 70s Leevi joining forces in perfect fashion. I love it wholeheartedly. Rakkauteen is a perfect record.
And the Finnish album of the year 2014 award goes to.
1. Ochre Room: Box, Bar & Diamond
This was hardly a surprise. Everyone who is regular follower of this tiny blog probably knew my Finnish album of the year will be Ochre Room’s second full-length Box, Bar & Diamond. They were pretty much perfect the first time I saw them a couple of years ago and still they somehow manage to get even better all the time. I’m not quite sure how that is possible. I spend pretty much all of my free time listening to folk and americana bands from all over the world and there really aren’t many that I like more than Ochre Room. If I would have made just one list and not separate for Finnish and foreign, Ochre Room would still have been on my top 3. The songs are so well-crafted and arranged and that singing always sounds heavenly good to me. I could listen to them sing all day long. Ochre Room and their magnificent album Box, Bar & Diamond is the Finnish album of the year 2014.