Dakota Theim, Mo Troper, Witch’s Wall and Untogethers

Over the years this blog has drifted towards roots-ier surroundings, but every now and then it’s good to go back to the actual roots of the blog and share a couple of fabulous pop songs. This little blog entry is heavily influenced by the new Dakota Theim album Somewhere Under the Sun, which came out on the 10th of January. I just found this Portland-based songwriter and his album last Friday thanks to American Standard Time. Read their long and detailed review here to get a better grip of why you should introduce your heart to these songs or just hit play below to hear a couple of melodic and catchy pop treasures. This is such a wonderful 60s / early 70s influenced pop album and I love every second of it.

Dakota Theim at Facebook
Dakota Theim Website

Another should-be hit record from Portland is the forthcoming Mo Troper album Natural Beauty that is due out on Tender Loving Empire on the 14th of February. The previous one Exposure & Response was one of the best power pop albums I’ve heard in recent years, so I have high expectations for this one. I think I already shared Jas from Australia in the latter parts of 2019, so let’s drop the other two singles here.

Mo Troper at Facebook

Witch’s Wall are from Birmingham, Alabama and they have a self-titled debut album coming out on the 3rd of April on Cornelius Chapel Records. I don’t know a whole lot about them yet, but I do know that this first single Lady Love is rather superb and comes also in form of a beautiful nostalgic video. I look forward to hearing their blend of dreamy pop, experimental rock and psychedelic vibes when the album arrives.

Witch’s Wall at Facebook

Last stop on this pop tour tonight is Tampere, Finland and the great new single The Peasant from Untogethers. A full-length album will follow in March on Iso Pinkki, but first we can enjoy this gorgeous 60s influenced pop song along with archive footage of Finnish lumberjacks doing some log racing back in the late 40s.

Untogethers at Facebook

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Hello Emerson, The Innocence Mission, Liila Jokelin and Laura Moisio

A quick post of few things I’ve loved madly during the recent weeks. Beginning with a new favorite Hello Emerson from Columbus, Ohio. I just recently discovered them, because one of my favorite labels Anyway Records released their new album How to Cook Everything in the states. It’s on K&F Records here in Europe. My addiction started with this beautiful and moving story song Seat16b. A really lovely Kylli-täti kinda video too (only Finns know that reference). The whole record is equally great and just came out on the 24th of January.

Hello Emerson Website
Hello Emerson at Facebook

The Innocence Mission from Lancaster, Pennsylvania has released wonderful music since 1989. Their new album See You Tomorrow came out on Bella Union on the 17th of January and it sets the bar really high for 2020. The opening trio The Brothers Williams Said, On Your Side and Movie is just oh wow and the magic stays with you throughout the heavenly beautiful record.

The Innocence Mission Website
The Innocence Mission at Facebook

The debut album by Finnish songwriter Liila Jokelin sneaked into my 2019 top 3 during the last month of the year. It didn’t get a whole lot of recognition on this blog though due to the late release date at the end of November. I don’t think I ever even shared this gorgeous music video for album cut Sateet tuovat terveisensä. So let’s take care of that now and further recommend her great album Kaamos on huono esileikki that came out on Helmi Levyt. Such a strong and unique record that doesn’t play it safe. Beautiful, dramatic, disturbing and never ever boring.

Liila Jokelin at Facebook

The song I’ve loved the most during this first month of 2020 is the new Laura Moisio single Kaukana onnesta. It’s poignant, quietly monumental and deeply moving. A song that maybe resonates with me more than I’m comfortable to admit, because I’m not always the most optimistic type. Therefore this devastatingly beautiful song also serves as a good reminder to not let things slide out of my control. And despite the almost overwhelming sadness, the song is still somehow comforting and instead of dragging me down, it is able to fill my heart with warmth and light. Her new album is coming out on the 6th of March on Texicalli Records. I can’t wait to hear it, because the two advance singles have been pure gold.

Laura Moisio at Facebook
Laura Moisio Website

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TOP 25 Finnish Albums of the Year 2019

Starting with this pointless year end routine. So between now and Christmas, there will be a lot of lists. Well at least unless this flu really kicks in badly. I will do these rather quickly this time and don’t write a lot of ramblings, because a) life has been hard for a couple of months and I just want to get these done b) the music matters not the ramblings. I’m starting with the Finnish albums of the year. It was a great year and I could have easily come up with at least 10 more that I really liked. There’s some sort of vague order, but the numbers are mostly there to just help me count to 25 with my non-existent math skills. So don’t focus on them too much, because depending on a day any album could move like seven places up or down and even flipping it upside down wouldn’t make much of a difference. Music is love and not a competition and every year I think about moving on to unranked version. Still I feel that even the vague order can be helpful to the reader. Especially because unlike myself, some folks have a life and don’t have time to listen to all and everything and my lists tend to be on the long side.

There will be a playlist of Finnish music when I make the songs of the year list. This ongoing playlist will have songs from most of these, but some might be missing because I haven’t updated it as well and frequently as I should have. Anyway, here’s 25 Finnish albums that I loved during 2019. I hope I didn’t forget anything important.

25. Pasi Salmi – Preerian upottaa kuu (Way Beyondo Records)

Pasi Salmi at Facebook

24. M – Näytän missä asun (Solina Records)

M Website

23. Anne-Mari Kivimäki & Palomylly – Hämeen lauluja (Kihtinäjärvi Records)

Anne-Mari Kivimäki at Facebook

22. Knipi – Knipi (Fried Music)

Knipi at Facebook

21. Tomi Nordlund & Syvä Joki – Viisi vuotta myöhemmin (Soit Se Silti)

Tomi Nordlund & Syvä Joki at Facebook

20. Pekko Käppi – Finnish Folk Songs Vol 1. (Helmi Levyt)

Pekko Käppi Website

19. Joose Keskitalo – En lähde surussa (Helmi Levyt)

Joose Keskitalo at Facebook

18. The New Magnetic North – Letters on the Floor (self-released)

The New Magnetic North at Facebook

17. Antti Autio – Pihalla tuulee taas (Soit Se Silti)

Antti Autio Website

16. Baby Sweetcorn – He Laughs He Learns He Loves (Way Beyondo Records)

Baby Sweetcorn Website

15. Litku Klemetti – Ding Ding Dong (Luova Records)

Litku Klemetti at Facebook

14. Lokit – Lokit LP (Joteskii Groteskii / Combat Rock Industry / Roku Records)

Lokit at Facebook

13. Janne Tapion Sisäinen Avaruus – Maapallon hautajaiset (Lumpeela julkaisut)

Janne Tapion Sisäinen Avaruus Website

12. Verões – Verões (self-released)

Veroes at Facebook

11. Hullu Ruusu – Rehab (Helmi Levyt)

Hullu Ruusu at Facebook

10. Salaliitto – Puolet (Soit Se Silti)

Salaliitto Website

9. Viitasen Piia – Meidän jälkeemme hiljaisuus (Texicalli Records)

Viitasen Piia Website

8. Maustetytöt – Kaikki tiet vievät Peltolaan (Is This Art!)

Maustetytöt at Facebook

7. Hulda Huima – Maa (Helmi Levyt)

Hulda Huima at Facebook

6. Iron Country Sisters – The Blue Hidden In (Soit Se Silti)

Iron Country Sisters Website

5. Sur-rur – Hattarahiukset (Joteskii Groteskii / Roku Records)

Sur-rur at Facebook

4. Räjäyttäjät – III (Ektro Records / Räjä Records)

Räjäyttäjät at Facebook

3. Liila Jokelin – Kaamos on huono esileikki (Helmi Levyt)

Liila Jokelin at Facebook

2. Kielo Kärkkäinen – Keitä me olemme (Texicalli Records)

Kielo Kärkkäinen Website

1. Ylva Haru – Linnut (Soit Se Silti)

My favourite Finnish album of the year 2019 is Linnut by Ylva Haru. It came out in early January and stayed with me throughout the year. This beautiful folk album resonates with me deeply and gives me a lot of those this is exactly how I feel moments and (or even more so) this is how I should feel moments. An absolute treasure of an album.

Ylva Haru Website

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