Laura Gibson, Leah Senior, The Wild Reeds, Sharon Van Etten and Ylva Haru

Hey, it’s 2019. I think it’s time to start again and do some other kind of posts too and not just the weekly playlist. Kicking things off with just a quick video post though. I’m still a little bit stuck in 2018 and therefore I have to start by posting the new music video from my favorite album of last year. I Don’t Want Your Voice To Move Me is the ending song of Laura Gibson’s phenomenal album Goners. A gorgeous music video to accompany a deeply moving song.

Laura Gibson Website

This is another one that came out in 2018 and just got a music video. Graves is the latest single from Australian folk singer-songwriter Leah Senior. Her album Pretty Faces was in my top 10 back in 2017 and I’ve been eagerly waiting for more. I hope there’s an album on the horizon, because this new single is again so gorgeous. Graves came out on Flightless Records on the 14th of December 2018.

Leah Senior Website

Moving on to the best songs of 2019. Sharon Van Etten’s new album Remind Me Tomorrow came out on the 18th of January on Jagjaguwar. The highlight of that album is this brilliant song Seventeen. “Began as Lucinda Williams-esque, but wound up as more of an upbeat nod to Bruce Springsteen” says the press release. That’s some high level namedropping, but this time the song can actually live up to that.

Sharon Van Etten Website

New The Wild Reeds album Cheers is coming out on Dualtone on the 8th of March. A couple of outtakes are already available. I love this latest one Don’t Pretend. It’s a bit more relatable to me than what I would like to admit. I should learn from it, because I master at crawling into my self-inflicted misery. I can’t wait to hear the whole album in March.

The Wild Reeds Website

The Delines album is probably the best album I’ve heard this year, but this one by Ylva Haru is the one that I’ve loved the most and the one I’ve listened to the most. Ylva Haru aka Finnish folk singer-songwriter Lotta Jääskelä has created an endearingly beautiful and deeply moving album. I hope I manage to write something a bit more detailed about it during the coming weeks. If not, I still want to let the world and/or the seven regular readers know that I love this. The album Linnut came out on the 11th of January on Soit se silti. This was a bit of video entry so let’s go with the live version of the title track on this blog entry, but you should definitely listen to the whole amazing album.

Who am I really kidding? I have to post another song too. Going through this one without shedding some happy tears is an impossible challenge. It’s also a challenge that I don’t want to win. This is Oikeiden luona by Ylva Haru. That’s it for tonight. Now I will cry myself to sleep with this song and my loved ones on my side.

Ylva Haru Website

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Top 50 Finnish Songs of the Year 2018

If the ranking of albums is a bit silly, then this ranking of songs is absolutely ridiculous. So don’t pay much attention to the numbers side of this. It’s pretty random after the first 10-15 songs. This is just list of 50 great songs from 50 different Finnish artists. It’s a bit too long for a year end list too, because I wanted to make a playlist to go with it. This was actually just as important and to be honest the flow of the playlist had a little bit to do with the order here and there. So that’s one reason why the numbers are useless. Music is life, not a competition.

I’m sure there’s again some that I forgot (and of course lot that I haven’t even heard), because it’s difficult to find enough time push these list through while working the day job too. The real monster lists. International albums and songs still to come. That’s why I also kept my ramblings to a minimum. Not that those would be interesting anyway. There’s a Spotify below, if you are into that sort of thing.

Top 50 Finnish Songs of the Year 2018

50. Kadonnut Manner – Antroposeeni
49. Petäjä – Fading (Pinetree Music)
48. Sammal – Suuliekki (Svart Records)
47. Matti Jasu – The Money Pit (listen here)
46. Pienet Koirat – Lähehä (listen here)
45. Puunhalaaja – Vanha kettu (Soliti)
44. Pottonen Band – Juggling Eggs (NXVX)
43. Antti Autio – Kallio (Soit se silti)
42. Linkopii – Bedillä (Luova)
41. Pastis – Amazon (Stupido Records)
40. Merries – Starting Over (Royal Mint)
39. Kielo Kärkkäinen – Kuunnelkaa (Texicalli)
38. Havut – Muisteja (Lumpeela julkaisut)
37. Kiki Pau – Leaves (Beyond Beyond is Beyond)
36. Tams – Sori Sori Sori
35. The Handkerchiefs – The Law
34. Lähtevät Kaukojunat – Tyttö tuollainen (Airiston Punk-Levyt)
33. Mara Balls – Maailma Palaa (Stupido Records)
32. Jylhä Yrjö – Miksi me teimme sen (Iso Pinkki)
31. Joonas Holmen + The Lossy Codecs – Launching Down on Tracks (Fuu Recs)
30. Mahonies – Apology (Iso Pinkki)
29. Skip Zone – Nobody Cries
28. Rami Vierula – Pakko liikkua
27. Message Field – Substance (Soit se silti)
26. Klasu – Kultaakin kalliimpaa (Soit se silti)
25. Janne Tapion sisäinen avaruus – Harmaa kivi (Lumpeela julkaisut)
24. Hullu Ruusu – Kun heräät aamulla (Helmi Levyt)
23. Tomi Nordlund & Syvä joki – Olen täällä sinua varten (Soit se silti)
22. Karina – Bambi (Playground)
21. The New Tigers – In the Tall Grass (Soliti)
20. New Silver Girl – Alms (Soliti)
19. J. Karjalainen – Terve, Sirkka Lautamies (Warner)
18. Laura Moisio – Syyt (Texicalli)
17. Kynnet – Mitä muuta (Svart Records)
16. Litku Klemetti – Miksi en lähtisi kaupunkiin (Luova Records)
15. Too Slow – Flairs (Royal Mint)
14. Iron Country Sisters – Go Slow
13. Rosita Luu – Äiti (Helmi Levyt)
12. Vuoret – Mennään rannalle (Soit se silti)
11. Kuumat Siivet – Itke hänet pois (Rhythm Barrel Records)
10. Tuomas Palonen – Hämärä (Palatsi)
9. Jolly Jumpers – Morning Glory (Jukan musiikki)
8. Jukka Nousiainen – Suuret unelmat (Jukan musiikki)
7. Liljankukka – Liverpool L8 (Karhuvaltio Records)
6. Penniless – Dark Room (Soit se silti)
5. Mitä helvettiä nyt taas – Kohta kuollaan kaikki (Nature Sucks Anyway Records)
4. Pää Kii – Sä veit mun levyt kirpparille (Stupido Records)

3. Salaliitto – 29250 (Soit se silti)

If I ever end up on some kind of quiz show, I hope they ask Nakkila’s post code because I think I will remember that for as long as I live. This good kind of earworm 29250 is the first single from the next Salaliitto album. It’s not necessarily even the best new Salaliitto song that I’ve heard during their live concerts, but it’s still absolutely wonderful and insanely catchy. A glorious nostalgic anthem for the small town hearts. It certainly takes me back to the 80s and 90s and my 42700/42560 days.

2. Lac Belot – D ‘n’ A (Solina Records)

It’s pretty much a coin flip with these first two, but Lac Belot has to settle for the second place in this category. We can’t let him run away with all these imaginary awards. Still D ‘n’ A is a song worthy of all hearts. Enchantingly beautiful folk song with rich and thoughtful arrangements.

1. Topi Saha – Valo tulee alhaalta (Warner)

And the song of the year is Valo tulee alhaalta by Topi Saha. This song absolutely floored me on first listen. There are few lines here that capture my daily inner feelings so precisely that it is almost frightening. So there’s a bit of hurt there, but it’s the good kind of hurt. The way song can heal you by first ripping you into pieces and then rebuilding the blocks in a way that you feel more whole than before listening. Topi Saha sure knows how to write a powerful and moving end to his albums.

Playlist Link

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Top 10 Finnish Albums of the Year 2018

It’s time to get the ball rolling and post the year end lists. Starting with my favourite Finnish albums of the year 2018. I admit that I haven’t been a great supporter of Finnish music during the recent years and that’s a little bit sad, because my love for Finnish pop music was the reason I founded this little blog/website back in 2001. My main interest just has drifted towards North American folk/country music during the last few years. However, that doesn’t mean that I’ve stopped listening to Finnish music. Not at all. Actually I struggled big time to pick just 10 and thought about expanding it to 20. There’s some kind of order, but it’s really not that important and you could flip it over and it wouldn’t be any worse. Music is life, not a competition. Anyway, here it goes.

TOP 10 Finnish albums of the year 2018

10. Laura Moisio – Laura Moisio (Texicalli Records)

The self-titled Laura Moisio album came out early in the year, but it has still been kind of a late riser for me and I’ve had it on heavier rotation since I saw Laura and her band live a few weeks ago. A really beautiful folk album full of intriquing songwriting.

9. Rosita Luu – SOS (Helmi Levyt)

Merita Berg continues to impress. If I had to choose, I think I would prefer that Hullu Ruusu album over this one. Thankfully I don’t have to choose and I can love both, because both of them are glorious collections of unique pop music.

8. Topi Saha – Lopunajan rakastavaiset (Warner Music Finland)

Maybe a surprisingly low place for a Topi Saha album, because he is usually in the top 3. No worries though. Topi Saha is still one of my favourite Finnish songwriters and this new album is also a great one. And yeah, Topi Saha will get his top 3 or top 1 place when the songs of the year list drops within a week or two.

7. Vuoret – Portti (Soit Se Silti)

If I tried to make an objective list, Portti by Vuoret might take the album of the year award. However, these are always entirely subjective and painting landscapes with guitars isn’t the closest thing to my heart. Nevertheless, the album is so damn good that it does rule my world too.

6. Pää Kii – Jos huonoo onnee ei ois, mul ei ois onnee ollenkaan (Stupido Records)

Every list needs a little bit of punk rock and I sure couldn’t find be a better band to provide it than Pää Kii. And don’t worry if you’re not a punk. Neither am I, but I still love every second.

5. Litku Klemetti – Taika tapahtuu (Luova Records)

This new Litku Klemetti album might not be as instantly catchy as Juna Kainuuseen, but it’s still equally wonderful. Some of it goes into the proge-zone, which is usually a total no-go zone for yours truly. Thankfully with the help Litku Klemetti, I’ve been able to make that step into the area and somewhat suprisingly find being there fairly comfortable. I’m still a little bit wary though and I have the early The Beatles hits on speed dial.

4. Tuomas Palonen – Tuomas Palonen (Palatsi)

An absolutely charming solo album from Tuomas Palonen. Occasionally this almost gets a little too weird for me, but sometimes it’s worth it to spend time with something that challenges my taste. An ethereal and eternally beautiful folk and psych folk album with late 60s and 70s vibes.

3. Jukka Nousiainen – Ei enää kylmää eikä pimeää (Jukan musiikki)

Moving on to the top 3. Especially these last three could be in any order and I love them all to bits. Jukka Nousiainen made an outstanding and powerful rock album that brings much needed light into these unnecessarily dark times. We should all be a little more like this album.

2. Penniless – X (Soit Se Silti)

The alternative rock legends and one of my all-time faves Penniless returned with a new album. I think it’s been a five or so years from the previous one, but this sure isn’t some lukewarm nostalgia trip. X is a damn magnificent album full of dark rock songs that shine brightly.

1. Lac Belot – ABRACADABRA! (Solina records)

And the Finnish album of the year award goes to ABRACADABRA! by Lac Belot. Lac Belot aka songwriter Jarno Takkumäki released a fabulous EP some years ago and I had been waiting for him to release more music. In 2018, Solina Records released this debut full-length and it sure didn’t disappoint. This is an enchanting and beautifully arranged collection of compelling and ambitious folk-tinged pop songs. Even the few more ordinary compositions shine thanks to the gorgeous arragements and orchestrations. Most of the times that beautiful disguise isn’t a need, because everything from the core to the decorations work perfectly. ABRACADABRA! sure is a magical album and I can’t wait for more.

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