Friday, 20 June 2014

Listen to Popheaval's picks from the Finnish indie scene

As you might have noticed, I don't often feature Finnish music in this blog despite being a Finn myself. That's not to say that there weren't good music coming from the country, it's just that I barely follow the scene over there (especially now that I'm not even living there at the moment). However, every once in a while I bump into bands and artists that I like, usually through the wondrous world of social media. Here are some of my recent discoveries from the Finnish indie (= Findie? Yes, this blog is all about portmanteaus...) scene.

First we have Forwardman, the music project of Helsinki-based Sakari Viittala. He's got an album coming out later this year, and the lead single was released one month ago. The Britrock-esque single, titled "Twenty-Six", is accompanied by a music video that features twenty-six different scenes, shot in various different locations. Good luck trying to spot all the different cities seen in the clip! And if you like the song, he's also got an EP out on iTunes so do check it out as well.

Heading north, next we've got A-M from Oulu. Behind the stage name is singer-songwriter Aapo-Matti Puhakka, who makes music that is a beautiful mixture of mellow alternative rock and Finnish melancholy. He's got a double single "Count To Ten" / "Rainy Day" out, and a debut album due for release this autumn. The latter song is especially amazing and a personal favourite of mine. (As a matter of fact, you might have heard it before in this blog, too.)

Pretty promising stuff, huh?

Uncle Tan, a Tampere-based electronic musician, is a discovery I made through Twitter. I went over to his Soundcloud page and one particular tune garnered my attention. The song, called "The Cave", is an instrumental electronic pop-rocker that recalls some of the better stuff that emerged from the '90s alternative rock scene, such as Garbage. Hell, the production is so top-notch, it wouldn't sound out of place on Madonna's iconic 1998 album Ray of Light!

CC33 is a band that has been featured in the blog before, when their song "Miracle Jackson" was the Song of the Week a while ago. I've got a review of their debut album Pig Safari in the making, though you'll still have to wait a bit for it, as I've been pretty occupied with other things lately. Anyway, here's another track from the album, and this one's called "I Used To Be A Teenage Amorphis Fan". This lovely, tranquil tune could almost pass for a Moby track from the early noughties. (But why, oh why is it so short...?) 

And lastly, there's Siinai. This interesting kraut-rock outfit makes conceptual electronic albums. First they had one called "Olympic Games" (pretty self-explanatory, right?), and now they're back with a concept album about... supermarkets. Yes, you've read right. The ambient album, also titled Supermarket is a collection of instrumental compositions about the experience of going through a supermarket, with song titles such as "Jonotus / Queue", "Smiling Cashier" and "Exit". Pretty ambitious, I guess. Anyway, here's "Shopping Trance" from the album: it's a pulsating track that hypnotises with its apparent monotony - a bit like how you'd do your groceries in an almost trance-like state, following your usual routine, just like all the people around you, making the act of shopping feel both fascinating and creepy at the same time.

So, there were some of my picks from the Finnish alternative music scene. Enjoy!

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