Kaspar

Kaspar ©Denis Vinokur

Kaspar is a new band formed by two extremely talented songwriters John McGregor & Mikael Hakkarainen. Third member of the band is Tuomas Hakkarainen. They’ve already recorded their debut in New York with the help of producer Malcolm Burn (who has previously worked with people like Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Lisa Germano, Giant Sand, Patti Smith) and are currently looking for a label to release it. The record should be out and available sometime in the autumn.

Yours truly is obviously really excited about Kaspar. John McGregor’s debut album Joki was onechord.net album of the year 2005 and his second album Maa ei oo pimee reached #2 spot in 2007. And because I’ve also really enjoyed Mikael H’s previous work, I would be largely surprised if I didn’t fall in love with Kaspar’s upcoming album. Opening track of the album Phoenix is already available on their myspace if you want to take a sneak peak. I suggest that you do, because the song is absolutely marvellous. First reaction is that Bella Union should sign them up now. I think this could fit well into their catalog that contains things like Midlake and Vetiver. I don’t like terms indie folk or alternative folk much, but if you are into bands labelled as that, you definitely should check out Kaspar. Well obviously you should just check them out it you happen to like great music, because that’s what this definitely is.

Kaspar at myspace

So Lee: Norway

When thinking about writing a blog entry about Kaspar, I remembered So Lee and a song called Norway. It’s still one of my favourite songs from the Hakkarainen brothers. I really loved it back then in 2002 and few days ago I checked out whether they still have it online. They did and yes, my love towards this song hasn’t faded away. For me, it still sounds as great as it did then. So if you wanna hear a great guitar pop song or for example want to celebrate Norway’s victory in the eurovision song contest by listening a song called Norway, hit the link below and download it from the solee.com website.

So Lee Website

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Delay Trees & Waterloo

delay

Delay Trees

Delay Trees is a good reason for you to start planning some sort of cake/shoe attack against me. I got this beautiful record as a promo a few months ago. I really liked it and yet I still never wrote anything. Exactly how bad person am I? Pretty bad at least in this case. Lazyness is a bad excuse. Before my guilty conscience drives me insane, I try to make amends with this quick blog entry.

The Soft Construction EP is full of insightful and tender pop music. It’s a very beautifully crafted and thoughtfully arranged little record. A few times it almost becomes too ambitious for me, because I prefer simple things and simple songs. But even for me, it never gets too far and the core of the song is never lost. It remains in your heart. A lot of high profile pop releases will struggle to reach the level of this self-released beauty.

Delay Trees Website

Delay Trees at myspace
 
 
Waterloo

Guilty conscience part 2. I’ve also known Waterloo for quite a long time, but I think I have never mentioned them at onechord.net (their previous life form The Dance did feature though). I’m not entirely sure about the name Waterloo, but there’s no worries in the music department. There are no official releases available, but you can listen and download songs from their myspace. Maybe that one real killer song is still missing, but this is really good guitar pop nevertheless. Looking forward for more.

Waterloo at myspace

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Jill Nissinen, Olento & Kaseva

Olento: Jill Nissinen
 

Thank you goes to Darwin and Räkärodeo mailing list for this one. He praised this song there and I went and check it out once, twice.. well about twenty times. I’m definitely in love with this song. I think it captures all that was great in the finest finnish 60’s/70’s pop/”iskelmä” ballads. I could picture someone like Kaseva singing this back then and that is as high as a praise can get. The mood of the song is a perfect match with the lyrics and that voice is so warm that it will melt your heart even if you have built an iceberg around it. I don’t know anything about Olento or Jukka Kokkonen (apparently the man behing Olento), but Jill Nissinen is starting to feel like a close friend after listening to this song over and over again.

Olento at myspace
 
 
Kaseva:  Turhaan huudat mua
 

Because Olento somehow brought Kaseva to my mind, I checked out whether there were any Kaseva videos at youtube. There was and this one above took my breath away. Now that is what I call singing and that’s something that I would like to see nowadays as well. Just drum set behind and four guys in front all singing their hearts out. For me harmony vocals is the most important part in music and therefore seeing something like that just completely blows my mind away. The clip is from Yle 1 program Pop-Liisa from 1976.

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Finnish music videos from the vaults part 1: The Sugarrush & Elliot Scale

Maybe this linking of youtube videos is getting out of hand in this blog, but I’m still going to start this new section and add some old or new finnish pop videos once or twice in a week. It’s an easy & quick way to praise the bands that you love. And on the plus side I also remember to watch these videos of songs that once meant a lot to me. And well still do, because I just end up watching that Sugarrush video about ten times in a row.

 

The Sugarrush:  Stereo

The best way to start is throwing in The Sugarrush’s Stereo. A video that I’ve probably seen hundreds of times and I don’t even think that’s an exaggeration. The Sugarrush is the hardest rockin’ pop band in the world and one of my own huge favourites.  Stereo is an opening track of their second album Mirrorball Ballerinas that was released back in 2001.

The Sugarrush at myspace
 
 
Elliot Scale: Innerspace

Elliot Scale’s Innerspace featured in the Meet The Scene compilation, but unfortunately the rest of Elliot Scale’s excellent song material was never officially released, because sadly Olli Linna (aka Elliot Scale) passed away way ahead of his time in 2002. Olli Linna was a great musician, producer and an all around nice guy.  He featured in bands like Time Flies and Cartoon Tree, but Elliot Scale was his solo project. It’s a shame that he never had the chance to finish that Elliot Scale material, because he had a lot of great pop songs. I lost those mp3s in a hard drive failure few years back, but thankfully Innerspace is still available at youtube.

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