Favorite Finnish Songs of the Year 2020

And here goes the final year-end list. No reissues lists anymore, because there’s so much new music that a) I don’t really have the time to listen to reissues b) I most definitely don’t have the money to buy reissues. Anyway, here are are my favorite Finnish songs of the year. This is mostly just a big playlist with 80+ Finnish songs. Mostly one song per artist with some small exceptions. Veli has two. One in English and one in Finnish. Kielo Kärkkäinen has the new solo single and a song from the 2020 EP with Matti Salo. And well Kalevi Suopursu and Mikko Siltanen have a few too, but different projects. Haamusoittajat is only available on Bandcamp, so you won’t find that from the playlist. I typed about 40 of the biggest favorites here in random order, but that’s barely enough to get started so the playlist has about double. Only top 3 are sorta “ranked” and even that is not important. It’s just a playlist of Finnish songs I loved during the year.

Haamusoittajat – Ahvenheinä (not on Spotify, listen/buy at bandcamp)
Robert Ensio Niemistö – Tasahaikka (Jukan Musiikki)
Metsäheikki – Puut tanssivat hiljaa (Helmi Levyt)
Isse – Loimii (Helmi Levyt)
Joni Ekman – Mikään ei riitä (Soit Se Silti)
Sam Shingler – Fight or Flight (Soit Se Silti)
Matti Jasu – A Love Story
Message Field – Numbers (Soit Se Silti)
Verandan – Pink Clouds (Soliti)
Arppa – Laavalamppuja (Arppa Music)
Janne Laurila – Neljä tonnii pilvee (Soit Se Silti)
Bizzarro & Jukka Nissinen – Rankaisen lempeydellä (Humu Records)
Litku Klemetti – Mona (Luova Records)
Antero Kaksikäsi – Yödösä (Hyvät levyt)
Janne Tapion Sisäinen Avaruus – Rantaan vie moottoritie (Iso Pinkki)
Vino Puu – Hullu Lintu
Bad Sauna – Tehdään jotain tyhmää (All That Plazz)
Maustetytöt – Äiti älä huoli (Is This Art?)
joku iiris – Hyvä tyttö (Humu Records / Jukan Musiikki / Hillotehdas)
Joose Keskitalo – Nukkekoti (Helmi Levyt)
Mitä Helvettiä Nyt Taas – Et ole yksin (Nature Sucks Anyway Records)
Sami Heikkilä – Eiväthän kukat (Luova Records)
Punomo – Anna aikaa (Solina Records)
Lätsä – Keskiyön Cowboy (Helmi Levyt)
The Sugarrush – Yeah (Nature Sucks Anyway Records)
Puhelinseksi – Valomerkki (Svart Records)
Mummypowder – Sara’s Song (All That Plazz)
Kielo Kärkkäinen – Saman ihmeen nähnyt (Texicalli)
Viljami Kukkonen – Heikolla päällä (Karhuvaltio Records)
Rock Siltanen – Tulevaisuus ei oo sitä mitä se oli (Joteskii Groteskii)
Guggenheim-projektz – Matematiikon poika (Helmi Levyt / Jukan Musiikki)
Jani Matti Juhani feat Sini – Talven kylmät kyyneleet (Ainoa Productions)
Tvärtom – Järkytys
Teini-Pää – Hotelliin (Pop-Antik Kustannus / Goosebumb Record) – also check out their perfect ABBA cover 112 here.
Amuri – Masa (Helmi Levyt)
Veli – Elokuussa (Evil Veli Recordings)
Rosita Luu – Kuollut Monta Kertaa (Helmi Levyt)

3. Nightbird – Travelin’ Baby (Ella Ruth Institutet)

This great album from singer-songwriter Nightbird aka Anna-Stina Jungerstam has several songs worthy of a spot on this little list, but perhaps this album opener and title track is sthe finest of them all.

2. Kalevi Suopursu – Sinä olet minun sunnuntai (Helmi Levyt)

Sinä olet minun sunnuntai by Kalevi Suopursu is the the Finnish song I listened to the most this year. Not necessarily the best song from the album, if you use some silly objective parameters but definitely the one that I loved the most. That chorus is just pure perfection. Probably because I never learned to love the weekdays.

1. Laura Moisio – Kaukana onnesta (Texicalli)

My favorite Finnish song of the year 2020 is Kaukana onnesta by Laura Moisio. I instantly fell in love with it when I first heard it January and it never lost its poignant and profound beauty. In fact, it may have found even new and deeper levels during the year, because back in January I was still blissfully unaware how this year would unfold. I’m grateful that I had this compassionate song on my side warning me about the dangers of sinking in too deep. The devastating darkness of this song might have been the shining light that I needed. A work of art.

And here’s the big playlist with 80 plus Finnish songs from the year 2020.

Playlist link

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TOP 6 Finnish EPs of the Year 2020

Before diving into the international albums of the year list, here’s a small list of my favorite Finnish EPs of the year. Top 6 with a couple of bonus picks that maybe could have been on the actual list as well.

Bonus pick #1:

Teini-pää – Täynnä kysymyksiä

A 2019 release that would have been the top pick on my Finnish EPs of 2019 list, but I found it in January 2020. So just wanted to feature it here, because I love it so much and the release and the band was a big deal for me this year.

Bonus picks #2 and #3

Marian valinta – Maagiset kirjaimet & Epäile

Remastered treasures from Marian Valinta discography. I remember some of these beauties from the early 2000s and it’s lovely to reintroduce my heart to these songs.

Top 6 Finnish EPs of 2020

Kind of an odd number. I tried to squeeze this category into a top 5, but Haamusoittajat destroyed my plan a week ago by releasing something that I really love.

6. Tams – Aikahyppy 2

Tams have never understood the fact that generally I don’t really like synth pop all that much. Somehow I still love Tams.

5. Rami Vierula – Kasetilla EP

A beautiful surprise release from Rami Vierula that you might remember from Delay Trees and 23:23.

4. Sami Heikkilä – Kaunein muisto (Luova Records)

Sami Heikkilä was one of the new finds for me and this is such a beautiful and moving folk EP. This last song is pure gold.

3. Kielo Kärkkäinen & Matti Salo – Valon mentyä (Texicalli)

The previous Kielo Kärkkäinen album was one of my favorites of 2019 and I’m sure the next one will be one of my 2021 favorites. We have something to love and cherish here in between as well, because this year she made a fabulous EP with Matti Salo. Especially the title track Valon mentyä is utterly wonderful.

2. Haamusoittajat – Aikojen pyörteissä

This Haamusoittajat release is a last minute entry to this list, but I love it so much that I considered making it the EP of the year. Maybe a bit too early for that, so let’s keep Veli there because those songs have been a part of my dna for a longer while. Anyway, I instantly loved this EP and replied to the promo email before I even had finished listening to it. So damn good unique DIY pop with traces of folk and psychedelia. If you miss Wojciech for example, give this one a spin because some of these songs take me into the same neighborhood.

1. Veli – Kotiäänityksiä I & 2 (Evil Veli Recordings)

These two magnificent EPs of home recordings by Veli can share the Finnish EP of the year title. I maybe prefer the first one a little bit, but the second one has some absolute (should be) hits too like Breedersin Pod so I have to include that one too. He also released an excellent full-length that you can find from the earlier albums of the year list. That one is English, if you can’t master the Finnish language.

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TOP 30 Finnish Albums of the Year 2020

This is probably a good day to do this, so the year end routine continues with my favorite Finnish albums of this godforsaken year. Same deal as with the earlier favorite EPs post. First 20 in completely random order and then there’s top 10 in some sort of not-that-serious ranking. The numbers are arbitrary. Music is love not a competition. I think it’s just maybe helpful for the reader to have some sort of vague order, because not everyone is an music addict like me and have time or interest to listen 30 EPs or 100 albums and therefore might be interested in what were the ones that I loved the most. I hope I didn’t forget anything important. There’s a Spotify playlist at the bottom if you are into that sort of thing. I will however make a much larger playlist when I post the Finnish songs of the year closer to Christmas. That will include more albums, songs from best EPs and the finest singles.

Neiti Olga – Minä, aina (Luova Records)

Ninni Forever Band – Uusi yhtye (Jukan Musiikki)

Jani Matti Juhani – Jani Matti Juhani laulaa Elvistä Suomeksi (Ainoa Productions)

Jerry Lindqvist feat Janne Hyöty – Waiting Out the Storm

Bizzarro & Jukka Nissinen – Taipale Broadcast (Vol1) (Humu Records / Hillotehdas)

Pöllöt – Taas vähään aikaan (Svart Records)

Sam Shingler – Strange Security (Soit Se Silti)

Maustetytöt – Eivät enkelitkään ilman siipiä lennä (Is This Art)

Metsäheikki – Sammakko saunassa (Helmi Levyt)

Joni Ekman – Sinulle.. (Soit Se Silti)

Pintandwefall – Your Stories Baby (Soliti)

Vasas flora och fauna – Möte med skogsgardisterna (Startracks)

Maybe this one could go to the international list as well, but I’ll keep them here forever.

Hermaja – Kultasuoni (Helmi Levyt)

Joku Iiris – Joku Iiris (Humu Records / Hillotehdas / Jukan musiikki)

Guggenheim-projektz – Dersu Uzala (Helmi Levyt)

Arppa – Laavalamppuja (Arppa Music)

Joose Keskitalo – Nukkekoti (Helmi Levyt)

Bad Sauna – Olen rikas sillä minulla on teidät (All That Plazz)

A real last minute entry, because it just came out on friday. I’m loving it so far. Might become a huge favorite and push for top 10, but it’s too early to tell. However, it’s already clear that it has to be on this list.

Lätsä – Lätsä (Helmi Levyt)

I would like to bend the rules of math a little bit and squeeze this one into the top 10.

Matti Jasu – Up and Running

10. Message Field – A Brief Visit to Skull (Soit Se Silti)

I little bit slept on the debut album and never learned to love it as much I would have liked. I may need a revisit, because I think I was the one at fault there. I love this new album.

9. Robert Ensio Niemistö – Joilla on korvat se kuulkoon (Jukan Musiikki)

An excellent solo record from Robert Ensio Niemistö. This has been a bit of a slow burner for me. Not that there’s anything particularly difficult about it, but it took me a while to understand how great it is. He also released another record called Tincan Folklore. Plenty to love there as well.

8. Veli – I Am Changing (Evil Veli Recordings)

Veli was a busy man and released this beauty of album and two EPs of home recordings. And all of them are pure gold.

7. Rosita Luu – Samettisuu (Helmi Levyt)

Rosita Luu is getting better all the time. That trio of Kuollut monta kertaa, Suorat mutkiksi and Toista maata is just remarkable. Not that there’s anything wrong with the rest of this either. Such a great record.

6. The Sugarrush – High Status (Nature Suck Anyway Records)

My all-time favorite Finnish band The Sugarrush did some cupboard cleaning and released an album they recorded a decade ago. High Status is a damn fine pop album and I’m thrilled that this beauty is finally out and available.

5. Puhelinseksi – Sydänkohtaus tanssilattialla (Svart Records)

I think this is the Finnish album that I’ve listened the most during this year. It’s a fabulous punk rock power pop blast and a much needed energy boost, if the world tries to keep me down with vicious curve balls. And damn there’s been a few of those directed my way in 2020. I’ve needed this record badly and it has delivered each time.

4. Kalevi Suopursu – Yksin yksiössä (Helmi Levyt / Jukan Musiikki)

I wanted a record like this since I once saw Kalevi Suopursu karaokeshow and loved every second of it. Sweet that it’s here now. I love the whole thing, but got really addicted to the song Minä olen sinun sunnuntai.

3. Nightbird – Travelin’ Baby (Ella Ruth Institutet)

This album just entered into the world a couple of weeks ago, but it already found its way into my heart. A really beautiful folk/blues album from singer-songwriter Nightbird aka Anna-Stina Jungerstam.

2. Amuri – Amuri (Helmi Levyt)

This one was a year of the Suopursu for me. Kinda loved every project he was involved in. Highlight being this debut album from Amuri. The opening song Halla was my song of the year 2019, so the expectations were extremely high. Perhaps nothing else is as brilliant as Halla, but there’s so much to love and cherish. Kalevi Suopursu and Mikko Siltanen are both so great in this songwriting thing and what an awesome band too.

1. Laura Moisio – Laulaa kun ei voi muutakaan (Texicalli)

And the Finnish album of the year is Laulaa kun ei voi muutakaan by Laura Moisio. This one challenges my music taste maybe a bit more than the previous picks, but damn how it also cuts the deepest. Kaukana onnesta is by far my favorite Finnish song of the year and Kehä don’t fall far behind. A tremendous album and I love it so so much.

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