Albums of the Year 2011 – The Finnish Edition

Trying out some new tricks this year and I made two lists. The Finnish edition and the international edition. This is how the real magazines do these, so I suppose it’s alright. I’ve felt that doing these lists separately somewhat underestimates the Finnish releases. As if they are not good enough to make it to the list, if you make just one list. My top three Finnish albums would have made the top 10 in any crowd. Anyway, at least I get to choose two albums of the year.

Here we go (again)..

10. 22-Pistepirkko – Lime Green Delorean

There’s a few tracks on the new 22-Pistepirkko album that I’m not a big fan of. On the other hand, the album contains couple of songs that I really love. Especially Sweet Rodeo Heart and Ufo Girl are absolutely brilliant. Legendary band are still delivering the goods.
9. Kim Curly Band – So Long, King Desire

Kim Curly Band broke up after this album. I don’t think it had anything do with the quality of the music, because this second album from the masters of Finnish americana was a really good effort. A bit of Ryan Adams and Neil Young influences can never hurt.
8. The New Tigers – The New Tigers

Not too keen on the last three tracks, but up until that point The New Tigers debut was awesome. They won my heart over, even though I wasn’t the easiest soul to reach due to the fact that fuzzy pop and shoegazy vibes aren’t things I would take with me to a desert island.
7. NT’s White Trash – Mourning Becomes Electric

Nick Triani’s record label Soliti has gotten a lot of praises in the music media and blogosphere. I adore the label as much as any other, but my favourite Nick Triani -related album is Mourning Becomes Electric by his own band NT’s White Trash. Pop distortion with great melodies. Works for me.
6. Regina – Soita mulle

A welcome reminder that it’s still possible to become popular and hit the charts with great songs. Regina’s latest album Soita mulle was a thing of beauty and their new direction suited me perfectly.

5. Hi-Lo & In Between – We Are Not The Wind

This should have gotten much more recognition. This one ticks all the right boxes for me. Beautiful (but sometimes haunting) atmosphere and well-crafted folk songs. A couple of really amazing songs like the first single A Clear Silence and The Day When The Madness Came.
4. TV-Resistori – TV-Resistori

A tough task to beat those early TV-Resistori albums. Maybe they didn’t quite achieve that, but they definitely kept the quality really high and again released a delightful pop album. The loveliest of songs by the loveliest of bands.

3. Samae Koskinen – Kuuluuko, kuuntelen

Samae Koskinen released his best solo album to date and I love it to bits. Hän, jolla on kaikki is my favourite Finnish song of the year and the whole album is brilliant. The album compassionately handles low self-esteem issues in such caring manner that real-life Crane brothers would struggle to do a better job at it. And more importantly, it’s incredibly catchy pop album.
2. Mirel Wagner – Mirel Wagner

Mirel Wagner proves that pitch black can shine brightly. A graveyard full of black metal guitarists couldn’t create anything half as heavy and raw as Mirel Wagner’s self-titled debut album.” Just quoting my own review. Is that allowed? Anyway, Mirel Wagner’s debut album still sounds stunning. A truly remarkable effort from a young folk/blues singer-songwriter.

1. Mummypowder – Centuries Later

Extremely easy decision in the end. Mummypowder’s fourth album Centuries Later is the Finnish album of the year. It is also the greatest pop album of the year 2011 even all countries considered, because if I would have made just one list Centuries Later would have taken either second or third spot on that list and the only one(s) ahead of it would fall more into the folk/country zone. I think this is just heavenly good pop album. The lyrics are the best Janne Lehtinen has ever written. The songs have been perfect before so it’s hard to become any better at that, but this might be the most consistent Mummypowder album to date. There’s not a single bad track on it. Everything sounds brilliant. I just can’t understand why this beauty doesn’t rule every year-end list.

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Year 2011 Round-up Part 7: Favourite Finnish songs vol 2.

Moving on to Finnish songs that actually came out on a label. More about many of these when I write that albums of the year 2011 list. Not in any order except that Samae Koskinen’s Hän, jolla on kaikki is definitely my favourite Finnish song of the year and Mirel Wagner’s No Death was the clear #2. Otherwise I didn’t think about the order. I also went with the easy route and just picked my favourite songs that were easily available (youtube / soundcloud). In few cases I might have picked a different song from the album, but I do love all these. A proper top 10 songs of the year list might or might not appear. The album list is first on the agenda.

Samae Koskinen – Hän, jolla on kaikki (from the album Kuuluuko, kuuntelen)


Mirel Wagner – No Death (from the album Mirel Wagner)


Burning Hearts – Into the Wilderness (from the EP Into The Wilderness)


NT’s White Trash – You & Me (from the album Mourning Becomes Electric)


The New Tigers – Velvet Jam (from the album The New Tigers)


Regina – Unessa (from the album Soita mulle)


TV-Resistori – Ilta aikaa (from the album TV-Resistori)

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Hi-Lo & In Between – A Clear Silence (from the album We Are Not The Wind)

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Mummypowder – Part of the Fun (from the album Centuries Later)

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22-Pistepirkko – Sweet Rodeo Heart (from the album Lime Green Delorean)

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And last but not least. Finally “a new” The Sugarrush song surfaced on the Miettinen box set and I have to mention this great track even though I can only give a spotify link to it.

The Sugarrush – Posterboy (available on the Miettinen Box set)

Posterboy at Spotify

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Black Twig & The New Tigers

As you may have noticed, I’m way behind in promoting new Finnish indie music, but thankfully there are several great blogs (like Stop, Shake, Honey, Go, Slow Show, Singin’ Drunken Lullabies…) that are keeping you informed while I keep listening to american folk music.


I completely failed to mention the first outtake Lake Song from the upcoming Black Twig album, even though I really liked it. The second taster Death Scene has also been out there for a week or two, so now it’s definitely time to make amends and post these two great noise pop tracks. Black Twig may not be style-wise my closest companion, but this is definitely high quality stuff. Especially Lake Song is pretty amazing on all accounts. Debut album is due out in January 2012 and it will be released by Soliti.

Black Twig – Lake Song

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Black Twig – Death Scene

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It’s been great to notice that The New Tigers and their debut album has been so widely praised during the last months. The boys definitely deserve it. One of the loveliest things about the new indie label Soliti has been the fact that Nick Triani has showed that it’s possible to create a truckload of positive interest and hype around wonderful indie releases and bands. Has it really reflected on record sales? Don’t know. But it can do no harm that good bands have a little bit of buzz going on around them.

Last week Soliti released two songs that didn’t make The New Tigers album. The songs are Toffee and Chocolate. The instrumental Chocolate is a thing of beauty, but after all this positive vibe, I got to say I don’t like Toffee one bit. Well there’s actually a really beautiful and most likely amazing song somewhere under there, but I can’t hear it, because it’s buried under the noise. I’ll take just the Chocolate to go with the great debut album. Thanks.

The New Tigers : Toffee/Chocolate by Soliti

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