Favorite Finnish Songs of the Year 2021

And finally song of the year lists. First the Finnish ones. I’ll do these rather quickly, because I need a some kind of Christmas break from the blog stuff. These are mostly just a never-ending playlist, but I typed down some big favorites and chose the top 3. I’m sure there’s a ton missing from the playlist, because I didn’t do a great job keeping the ongoing list up to date throughout the year and this list was built using that. That ongoing list will slowly transfer to 2022, so this one will stay for the “history books”.

The playlist is slightly top heavy, but somewhat random after the first 3 and completely random after the first 30 or so. Oh yeah and Haamusoittajat would be easily among the top picks, but it was December 2020 release and ruled the lists already a year ago. However, it didn’t become streamable before January 2021 so I wanted to include it on the playlist.

Here’s 12 big favorites in random order. In some case there are two songs mentioned, because I couldn’t decide between the two. My silly lists, my silly rules.

Arppa – Täällä taas (Johanna Kustannus)
Joakim Daal – Shelter (All That Plazz)
Astrid Swan – Luxuries (Soliti)
Eden Prairie – Birch Street / Josie
Rock Siltanen Group – Pizzaa ja kaljaa / Santanan Kolmonen (Rockia ja sporttia)
Laura Moisio – Kirje (Texicalli)
Kielo Kärkkäinen – Ajattele tulevaa (Texicalli)
Mustat Kalsarit – Puhu Musta (Hiljaiset levyt)
Hulda Huima – Luomet kuin tähdet / Kotimatka (Helmi Levyt)
Joose Keskitalo – Doors (Helmi Levyt)
Amuri – Hattupäinen mies (Helmi Levyt)
Tvärtom – Kadun humina (267 lattajjaa / Jumatsuga)

3. Teini-Pää – Näin sen unessa / Kissat ja koirat / Tähdet, Tähdet (Stupido / Soit Se Silti)

We’ll start the top three with an early peek to my Favorite Finnish albums of the year 2022 list. Everybody knows that Teini-Pää and Tvärtom are the best bands. The latter one took home the album of the year award while Teini-Pää released several fabulous singles. Well maybe Downtown was only good, but Näin sen unessa / Kissat ja koirat and Tähdet, Tähdet are absolutely marvellous.

2. Pekko Käppi & K:H:H:L feat Laura Moisio – Kirsikankukkia (Svart Records)

And on the second place there’s this timeless folk beauty from Pekko Käppi & K:H:H:L. Another big favorite singer-songwriter Laura Moisio adds some vocal magic too. I kept changing the order of the first all the time, so this is basicly just as dear to me as the song of the year.

1. Ty Roxy- True Colours (Fonal Records)

My favorite Finnish song of the year is True Colours by Ty Roxy. What a perfect lofi version of the disco high life. The album 音楽 (music) has several equally great moments, but this started it all for me and therefore remains the dearest song on it. Love love love.

Tidal Playlist

Apple Music Playlist

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30 Favorite Finnish Albums of the Year 2021

Year end madness continues with my favorite Finnish albums of the year. I’ll use similar kind of method as I did last year. So these list will have some kind of not-that-serious ranked top 10 and outside of that the order will be completely random and drawn out of a hat. I’m fully aware that music is love and not a competition, but I also listen an insane amount of music and therefore these lists will be really long. That’s why I think it might be helpful to give readers some kind of vague ranking of the releases I’ve loved the most. For example, everyone might not be into listening to all 100 international albums that I will select.

I’m of course just one man with a subjective taste. These are my own favorite releases and I’m not even trying to make an objective best of the year list. There’s plenty that I haven’t even heard yet like the whole The Lovematches record. I also just noticed that there’s a new Joni Ekman album out there that I haven’t even listened and that Kissa album is also something that I might really like, but just haven’t gotten into it yet. Probably just forgot something too. And there’s plenty of others too.

Oh and if you are into playlists, you’ll find Tidal, Spotify and Apple Music links below the list. Tidal and Apple don’t have everything available though, so Spotify is the most complete. There will be even longer playlists when I make the songs of the year list later in December.

Linda Fredriksson – Juniper (We Jazz)

Truthfully I know nothing about jazz and kinda thought this is probably not for me. Thankfully I didn’t let my prejudiced mind control my listening habits, because if you put the headphones on and hit play, it’s almost impossible not to be impressed.

Guggenheim-Projektz – Bim Mustakorva (Helmi Levyt)

How could anyone not love Guggenheim-projektz.

Lyyti – Toiveet ja Helyt (Luova Records)

Unique poetry pop brilliance from Lyyti.

AK-77 – Lowdown Kryptoniitti Blues

This list needs some blues and who better to provide it than AK-77. Bonus points for mentioning my hometown Keuruu. Their Finnish translation of J.J. Cale’s Cajun Moon is called Keuruun kuu.

Sami Heikkilä & Kolme Viljaa – Sami Heikkilä & Kolme Viljaa (Kitka Records)

A warm and captivating folk rock beauty from Sami Heikkilä & Kolme Viljaa.

Jukka Nissinen – III (Humu Records)

The third from Jukka Nissinen is probably the best one yet. It makes me smile and that’s rather important especially during these dark winter days.

Sami Yaffa – The Innermost Journey to Outermost Mind (Vallila Music House)

First solo full-length from Sami Yaffa. Down at St. Joe’s is my big personal favorite here.

Litku Klemetti – Kukkia muovipussissa (Luova Records)

Perhaps less my cup of tea than previous Litku Klemetti albums, but there’s no need to satisfy narrow-minded music bloggers by rewriting the same record over and over again. Do whatever feels good and we will most likely follow along. Disco-version of Litku is also rather wonderful.

Hot Heros & Janne Laurila – Nuotiosavua (Playground)

The voice of Janne Laurila backed up by the almighty Hot Heros. That’s even more trustworthy combination than Mika Pyörälä and Lasse Kukkonen defending one goal lead in the last minute of a meaningful Liiga game.

Antero Kaksikäsi – Pihapihlaja (Hyvät Levyt)

A bit more obscure choice here perhaps, but I definitely have a soft spot for the country songs of Antero Kaksikäsi. A very lovely record.

Pekka Laine – The Enchanted Guitar of.. (Svart Records)

Next a magical electric guitar adventure together with Pekka Laine. Even more legendary figure Esa Pulliainen provides a little bit of help.

Marian Valinta – Kahden valtakunta

Marian Valinta has been giving a new life for their old back catalogue pearls. The long time readers might remember some of these lovely songs from the early days of the blog and they work equally well now in 2021.

Jani Matti Juhani – Laulaa Elvistä Suomeksi vol.2 (Ainoa Productions)

Jani Matti Juhani released more gorgeous Elvis covers in Finnish. Everything works, but my personal fave is this exceptional duet with Sini.

Ruissalo Amping – Tähtien suojatit maan povella (Karhuvaltio Records)

What’s a list without some shoegazing? Ruissalo Amping to the rescue.

Palor – Lähenee nyt (Musakonttori)

Actually there’s some gazing here too, but more the merrier. Or well maybe merrier is not the best word, but yeah this is really good. This song Eksyneet is the one I love the most. It goes somewhere close to the early Wojciech stuff and that’s never a bad thing.

Baby Sweetcorn – Beyond the Rain (Way Beyondo)

A late entry to the list from a long time favorite Baby Sweetcorn. Just getting started here, but songs like Slow Fade and Museum of Echoes have already found a new home in my heart.

Arppa – Kinovalon alla (Johanna Kustannus)

Further Arppa magic. This opening song is a special treat.

Mustat Kalsarit – Yö (Joteskii Groteskii / Hiljaiset Levyt)

Some garage rock diy perfection from Mustat Kalsarit. I really like the whole album and then there’s this absolutely wonderful fuzzy opener Puhu musta.

Tams – Menolippu ei minnekään

I’ve loved pretty much everything Tams have released and this first full-length is not an exception to the rule. Synth lord of the east still going strong.

Janne Tapion Sisäinen Avaruus – Uusi elämä alkaa (Iso Pinkki)

This folk rock beauty isn’t even out yet, because the release date is 10th of December. However, I’ve had a chance to hear the full thing a couple of times and have spent a lot of time with the advance singles. So it’s perfectly clear that it does make the cut. It does feel like the most complete Janne Tapion Sisäinen Avaruus album and a part of me would like to drop it even as high as #5. But perhaps that would be a bit too hasty after just a couple of spins.

10. Astral Brain – The Bewildered Mind (Shelflife Records)

Starting the top 10 with a very questionable pick and I hope they don’t hate me for forcing them under this Finnish bubble. Half-Finnish and Stockholm-based Astral Brain would actually be a much better fit for the international category, but this leaves me one more spot for that list and this might also inform some of you about Einar Ekström’s (Le Futur Pompiste) current dreamy psych pop adventures over in Stockholm. The only thing that actually matters is that The Bewildered Mind is a mighty fine pop album.

9. Kielo Kärkkäinen – Laulajan muotokuva (Texicalli Records)

Kielo Kärkkäinen continues to impress with her fabulous songwriting. A mighty good band too and I love the arrangements all around.

8. Janne Laurila – Janne, tuu jo tänne! (Soit Se Silti)

Janne Laurila had a prolific year and have a couple of albums on this list. I’m a simple guy so this rock album took the slight edge and was the one that cracked the top 10. Better to have them both though instead of just settling for one of them.

7. Joose Keskitalo – New Songs for Old Motifs (Helmi Levyt)

Joose Keskitalo in English. Well count me in for sure. Excellent stuff throughout the record and then there’s The Doors, which is one of my favorite songs of the year.

6. Pekko Käppi & K:H:H:L – Aamunkoi (Svart Records)

Pekko Käppi has always had my utmost respect, but a lot of the stuff he releases is only a partial match with my own subjective taste. But now. Oh my. This one really hits the core of my heart. Kirsikankukkia for example is absolutely perfect. Such a great album.

5. Hulda Huima – Ilma (Helmi Levyt)

Hulda Huima has a pretty much guaranteed spot on my top 10 and this year is no exception. This new one does have some electronic elements, which maybe caused me a few hiccups during the first spins. But I got over it and ended up loving this just as much as the previous masterworks.

4. Eden Prairie – Give Up the Ghost

Next up some of the finest Finnish americana or whatever you may wanna call it. I’ve always liked Eden Prairie, but they took a giant step forward with Give Up the Ghost. A beautiful and humane album full of well-crafted stories. I’m so fond of this that it kinda hurts to leave this outside the top 3. A further proof that this ranking stuff is total bollocks.

3. Astrid Swan – D/Other (Soliti)

We’ll start the top three with Astrid Swan‘s wonderful new album D/Other. Such a special and powerful album that moves me deeply. There’s darkness but it’s overshadowed by humanity and light. A beautiful album.

2. Ty Roxy – 音楽 (Music) (Fonal Music)

This might be somewhat surprise, because stylewise Ty Roxy is not really the closest thing to my heart. Although things like Ian Daniel Kehoe’s Secret Republic have been on the top 10 too. So perhaps it’s not completely outside the box to fall so badly for an album that is heavily influenced with 80s disco music. I’m a reserved and extremely shy person and can’t think of much scarier things than hitting the dancefloor at a night club, but if I heard this one playing, I might seriously consider making a few modest dance moves. Absolutely love this record.

1. Tvärtom – Tvärtom (267 lattajjaa / Jumatsuga)

And the Finnish album of the year is Tvärtom’s self-titled debut full-length. I just loved it from the get-go. I put it on while at work and had to share first social media praises on the next coffee break. As a former indie pop kid and current indie pop middle-aged man, I’m probably the perfect target audience but damn how I love everything about it. A slice of jangly pop heaven. Five hearts any day of the week and by far the Finnish album I loved the most during this year.

Tidal Playlist (Tvärtom, Baby Sweetcorn missing from Tidal and different songs from Jukka Nissinen and Ruissalo Amping because Tidal only had the singles for these)

Apple Music Playlist (Tvärtom and Baby Sweetcorn missing)

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Favorites from the 20 Years of Onechord.net – Final Part

Carrying on with posting some song and music video favorites from the 20 years that I’ve been making Onechord.net. Here’s the link to the monster playlist, because I don’t have the time to write a post about everything.

One more back to basics kind of part in this 20 year favorites story. There’s a million and one thing that I didn’t go through, but there’s probably no need for that anyway. There’s that playlist above and the blog archives if you want to dig deeper. Vacation is coming to an end and I need to get back to the new stuff to wrap up this birthday week with a new music weekly.

We’ll start with my all-time favorite band (or is that The Posies) The Sugarrush. Also probably the band most responsible that this website exists. So if you love or hate this, thank or blame them. The particular music video Stereo below predates the blog and it’s more like part of the foundation of the blog. It’s an outtake from their 2001 album Mirrorball Ballerinas. So I kinda started this blog in 2001 at least partly because I loved them and the next time they released a full-length album was 2020 when High Status came out (which they recorded about ten years earlier, but it took a while for them to release it). Bastards. Haha. The second song Yeah is an outtake from this album.

The Sugarrush at Facebook

Next stop Nakkila, Finland and one of the best bands Finnish bands ever. I’m of course talking about Penniless. Here’s Hail of Bullets from their 2010 album A Cab to the City. Definitely one of the best Finnish albums released during these 20 onechordnet years.

Penniless at Facebook

More Finnish indie perfection. This is a classic Mummypowder single Don’t Hold Your Breath from their fabulous 2004 album Consternation! Uproar!.

Mummypowder at Facebook
Mummypowder Website

Cats on Fire can do the honors and wrap this nostalgic part of this story. During my biggest indie pop years, they were the best band in my world. I love them with all my heart and still genuinely feel like that they were just as great as any of their foreign colleagues.

Cats on Fire at Facebook

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