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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Salaliitto, Liljankukka, Pää Kii & Jylhä Yrjö

Continuing with these round-up posts so that I’ll manage to feature most of the 2018 stuff that I hold dear before it’s time for the end-of the year lists in December. This time a bit of a Finnish language special.

First up is Salaliitto and the first single from their forthcoming album that is due out in 2019 on Soit se silti. Nakkila’s zip code 29250 is now forever stuck in my head thanks to this insanely catchy nostalgic anthem for the small town hearts. Easily relatable especially for the ones who spent their youth in a small town in the 80s and/or 90s and therefore on a personal level, the song does bring a lot of good memories from my 42560/42700 days. A damn good song once again from Salaliitto.

Salaliitto at Facebook

Carrying on with the nostalgic vibe with an outtake from the new Liljankukka album Päiväkirja that came out on the 12th October on Karhuvaltio Records. This is their debut album, but the main songwriter Thomas Lilley has written a lot of pop magic with his other band Daisy during the past fifteen years or so. Liljankukka shows that he is able to master the difficult task of writing melodic pop treats also by using the Finnish language. Here’s the video for a song called 22 vuotta sitten.

Liljankukka at Facebook

Pää Kii returned with a new album called Jos huonoo onnee ei ois mul ei ois onnee ollenkaan that came out on the 19th of October on Stupido Records. Damn good record and I especially love this song that hits people like me where it really hurts. Albeit most of my own record collection is on the fashionable CD format, so they are probably not even worth that 25 cents. Expect of course they contain the building blocks of my life and therefore mean the world to me.

Pää kii at Facebook

I would have at least half a dozen more that could fit this blog entry, but it’s close to 4am so let’s wrap this up with a song from the new Jylhä Yrjö album Kohti asfalttia that came out a couple of weeks ago on Iso Pinkki. I don’t really know a whole lot about them, but I’ve been spinning the album quite a lot lately. The song Pieksämäellä would actually fit perfectly with the small town nostalgia that started this entry, but I will still go with my current favorite Miksi me teimme sen this time around.

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Lac Belot, Future States, Monnone Alone & The Wave Pictures

Tonight we’ll take a quick trip around the wondrous and magical pop world.

We shall begin our journey from Finland, because there should be a national holiday scheluded for this Friday in order to properly welcome Lac Belot’s magical debut full-length into the world. Here’s the latest single Friendly Beast from one of the finest Finnish albums of recent years. The album ABRACADABRA! is out on the 28th of September on Solina Records.

Lac Belot at Facebook

Moving on to Canada. I already posted the b-side Bugaboo of this single by Future States a couple of months ago. Still love that wonderfully arranged, warm and beautiful slice of pop heaven, but hey the a-side Heaven also rules the world and all other universes and there’s a music video for it too. The digital single is out on Golden Brown.

Future States Website

Let’s row the boat across the pacific and listen to the new marvellous and super catchy Monnone Alone single Cut Knuckle. Monnone Alone is a pop group from Melbourne, Australia and it’s led by ex-Lucksmiths member Mark Monnone. The new single is the first outtake from Monnone Alone’s second album Summer of the Mosquito, due out sometime in 2019.

Monnone Alone at Facebook

Last but not least we stop in London UK where the insanely prolific pop group The Wave Pictures is currently getting ready to release their second album of the year. While waiting for that to drop into our hearts, let’s stare at The Little Window with Dave Tattersall and co. This one is from their earlier 2018 album Brushes With Happiness.

The Wave Pictures Website

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Pienet Koirat – Lähehä & Kynnet – Raaputa kaljatuoppiin

A small late night video post. If this recent folk/americana direction of this blog feels dreadfully boring to you, here’s a great blast of Finnish rock’n’roll. You can practice the beautiful Finnish language while you’re at it. Ok, this Pienet Koirat song might be a bit of a challenge even for a native speaker. A damn good song though and I love the video where people try to do some karaoke sing along to a song that they have never heard. Plus there’s cats too and well above all.. I love cats. Lähehä is the second single from their forthcoming album.

Pienet Koirat at Facebook

Moving on to the gorgeous new Kynnet song Raaputa kaljatuoppiin. It’s an outtake from their forthcoming album Vähät välittää that is due out on 12th of October on Svart Records.

Kynnet at Facebook

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Jukka Nousiainen, Tuomas Palonen & Kuumat Siivet

I try to make a few of these quick round up posts as a vacation activity. This time three fairly new Finnish releases that matter to me.

The new Jukka Nousiainen album Ei enää kylmää eikä pimeää is my favourite Finnish album of the year so far. It’s got a really important message too. Of course everything it teaches should already be even naively obvious to all of us, but unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be the case and a horrible lack of empathy seem to be like a running theme in this current world. Caring and kindness really isn’t that hard. Let’s do that instead. There’s no reason not to. This is Jukan tehdas from the new album that is now out and available on Jukan musiikki.

Jukka Nousiainen Website

Next up is the new self-titled Tuomas Palonen album that came out 11th of May on Palatsi. I really loved the Kuparilinna album a couple of years ago and this one does fall if not on the same ball park than at least pretty close by. This is a very endearing 60s/70s-influenced psychedelic folk album. Cynics beware. This will melt your heart.

Let’s wrap up this little blog entry with a song from the new Kuumat siivet EP Tänä iltana. This song Itke hänet pois won my heart over the first time I heard it and I’m happy that there’s now a recorded version too. So wonderful. Listen/buy the whole beautiful thing over at Bandcamp.

Kuumat siivet at Facebook

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