January 29, 2015 § Leave a comment
There’s a lot of wonderful 2015 releases already out there. For example yesterday was a rather good day. Finnish singer-songwriter Klasu released his debut single (we will get to that in a few days) and a long time Canadian favourite of mine Marine Dreams released a new album called Producer’s Wonderland. Ian Kehoe is a very prolific songwriter and seem to release a full-length every year. I still wasn’t expecting a new one so soon, but I was pleasantly surprised when I saw it pop up on my Bandcamp feed and instantly bought a digital copy. I kept on listening to it for several hours today and it’s certainly another great addition to his catalogue. This man just writes unique pop music with addictive melodies. This thing is actually out of my normal comfort zone with programmed drums, disco-ish vibes etc.. I don’t know how Ian does it, but somehow Marine Dreams manages to turn things I don’t normally care for into something that I love wholeheartedly. This is Polished Stone from the new album. You can buy it as a cassette from You’ve Changed Records Website or the digital copy for really fair price of 5 CAD (or more) from You’ve Changed Records Bandcamp page.
January 25, 2015 § Leave a comment
You might have been wondering where is that post about new Viljami Kukkonen album Jos rakkaus tapahtuu. This is not actually it, but I already put this beauty on that album of the month box in the right frame. I plan to write that album of the month piece about it sometime during my winter holiday (the first week of February). However, because I’m a big fan and still rate his debut as the finest Finnish album of the current decade, it felt wrong to ignore this new one for so long. So I wrote this quick piece just to say that it’s now out and available on CD & digital. Vinyl release should follow within a month or two. It’s a beautiful record and gives me much more pain relief than these red triangle pills that the doctor ordered. This is the opener Joko lähdetään. More about Jos rakkaus tapahtuu in early February.
January 25, 2015 § Leave a comment
Before getting fully into 2015 releases (there are plenty of good ones already out there), I will quickly go through some 2014 release that I either bought or received during the last couple weeks of 2014. I know I’m already far behind on the 2015 stuff, but it would feel wrong to leave these out without even a mention, because I’ve been listening to them a lot during the past month.
First we have Harlan Pepper from Hamilton, Canada. I’ve been aware of their existence for a while and finally picked up their 2014 album Take Out a Twenty and Live Life to The Fullest from Zunior’s Boxing Day sale. I’ve been enjoying this one a whole lot. My favourite song is this one called TV (Let It Slide). That line “Let it slide / that’s my motto / It hasn’t done me much good” hits me every time. I’m guilty as charged.
Staying in Canada. Next we have Canadian singer-songwriter Graham Nicholas and his excellent album Sometimes Chicken, Sometimes Feathers. I was extremely interested when I read comparisons to John Prine, early Ryan Adams etc and this somehow managed to live up to my expectations. Of course I didn’t expect him to be as good as those guys, because well hardly anybody is as good those guys. Nevertheless, this is a damn fine Canadian country/folk album. This is Wandering Angel from the album.
Time to leave Canada behind for a while and locate into Nashville, TN, where Luke Bell is delivering awesome country sounds. I tried to find his album Don’t Mind If I Do before writing my albums of the year lists, but his Bandcamp only contained three songs at the time. I bought them for 5 bucks and recently Luke added the whole album there and I was finally able to download this whole gorgeous country album. So Luke, if you read this. I kind of owe you $5, because I got the whole thing for half price (but don’t send any wise guys after me, paypal address will be a better option). Anyway, it’s a great album and it indeed might have ended up on my albums of the year list If I had heard it in time. This one is a great song called Sometimes.
Moving on to Los Angeles and it’s time to end this little blog post with something breathtakingly beautiful. HT Heartache aka Mary Roth might not be someone that I listen to on a daily basis, but when the time is right, the slow-paced beauty of her new album Sundowner definitely has the quality to get under my under skin and take full control of my heart. This is HT Heartache’s music video for the song Cowboy Poetry.
And this is Roam Cold Highway from the album.
January 24, 2015 § Leave a comment
This is definitely a major news event on the One Chord to Another scale. Wonderful Canadian singer-songwriter Michael Feuerstack will be touring in Europe throughout February and the schedule includes two Finnish dates. On the 6th of February, he will play in Tampere at Valoa Festivaali (Artturi) and a day later on the 7th of February, he visits our Flavour of the Month Club in Turku (Pikku-Torre). I’m extremely excited, because I’m a big fan and have spent a lot of time listening to his music during the last year and a half. Yeah, I know. Year and a half isn’t much, because this man has been making great music since mid 90s, but I didn’t join the choir until his 2013 release Tambourine Death Bed. That’s because I was clueless prick before that and hadn’t listened to him while he was performing under that Snailhouse moniker (Tambourine Death Bed was the first one released under his own name). During the last six months I’ve also added a couple of Snailhouse albums (Lies On The Prize and Sentimental Gentleman) to my collection and those are just as fabulous as the newer material.
Michael Feuerstack is currently getting ready to release his new album The Forgettable Truth. The album comes out in February on a great Canadian label Forward Music Group. You’ll find the first outtakes from the forthcoming album below. I also added a few of my own Michael Feuerstack/Snailhouse favourites there. You can hear/buy all of his material at Bandcamp or order a copy to your local record store.
Michael Feuerstack in Finland:
Friday 6.2. Valoa-Festivaali, Artturi, Tampere
Saturday 7.2 Flavour of the Month, Pikku-Torre, Turku
Clackity Clack From the forthcoming album The Forgettable Truth
The Devil From the forthcoming album The Forgettable Truth
Friday Night Guard from his 2014 album Singer Songer. The vocalist on this one is one of my all-time favourite musicians, John K Samson (The Weakerthans).
Scorekeeper from his 2013 album Tambourine Death Bed.
Daydream from Snailhouse’s 2011 classic Sentimental Gentleman. Such a brilliant song.
(Not) Superstitious from his 2008 release Lies on the Prize.
That’s actually as far as I have gone back on the Michael Feuerstack back catalogue. I’m sure there are plenty of great tracks on the earlier Snailhouse albums as well and of course this was just a tip of the iceberg. Just one great song from each of those four gorgeous albums that I own and a couple from the forthcoming album.
That’s all for now. I’ll write another reminder a few days before the shows. Visit the links below to find more information about this great Canadian tunesmith. Before reading that bio on his website, I wasn’t aware that in the 80s Michael also had a band with Rick White who became front man of Eric’s Trip. I know a few of my friends used to love that band, so that might be another interesting fact.
January 22, 2015 § Leave a comment
I’ve been meaning to write a little post about Tomi Nordlund & Syvä Joki for months. They are a fairly new Tampere-based group, but the members have been making great Finnish pop music for many years in various shapes and forms. Tomi Nordlund had Cry Bar, Antti Suonio fronted The Props, Mikko Levonen has a power pop duo Heartjet and Noora Porola is a member of the almighty Satan’s Fingers duo. And that’s far from everything. Anyway, Tomi Nordlund & Syvä Joki is a new folk rock group who released two songs last year. I especially like this second one Meidän aikaa that came out in December. Such a great song if you ask me. There’s something very Aknestik-ish in the end of that chorus, but I will always count that as a good thing.
January 22, 2015 § Leave a comment
Vähäsarja’s debut album will see the light of the day next month when it comes out on Helmi Levyt. I’m really looking forward to this one. This guy isn’t just another good singer-songwriter. He stands out from the crowd in a good way. There’s something unique and captivating in his songs every time. I’ve only heard two songs from the forthcoming album so far, but I really like both of them. I’ll get back to this when the album arrives in February. Here are those first outtakes Lähden vuorille and Herra on mun kanssa.
January 18, 2015 § Leave a comment
My blog break has been a little longer than expected. I’ve had some issues.. like visiting a neurologist a few days ago. That’s pretty scary stuff, but thankfully anything serious seems extremely unlikely. Even so, this will still bother me on some level until I get rid of the headaches and numbness on my limbs. It just appears to be that it’s the tension neck that causes all these issues that trouble me. Anyway, I guess I should at least try to forget that stuff and finally move the blog to 2015. A lot of great new releases are already on the horizon like Vähäsarja, Viljami Kukkonen, Elephant Micah, Small Houses, American Aquarium, Justin Townes Earle, Andrew Combs. However, before getting into that new stuff, here is a really small and quickly made list of my favourite reissues of 2014. A rather pointless list, because I didn’t have much money to spend on these last year. There was so much good new music last year, that I had to leave most reissues to the shelf of the record store. Therefore I didn’t even make a top 10, because I’m not sure do I even own that many.
Top 3 Reissues of the Year 2014:
3. Richard Buckner – Bloomed
Merge Records celebrated their 25th Anniversary last year and reissued a lot of fabulous records from their back catalogue. I already owned most of them, so I only picked this Richard Buckner album Bloomed that I never bought back when it first came out. Excellent album and pretty much on the same level as my earlier Buckner favorites Devotion + Doubt and Dents and Shells.
2. Sister Flo – Tragician’s Hat (10th Anniversary Edition)
Sister Flo’s Tragician’s Hat is one of my all-time favourite Finnish albums. Actually you could even remove that word Finnish from that sentence. Soliti celebrated the 10th anniversary of Tragician’s Hat by reissuing it. This masterpiece definitely deserved that treatment.
1. Bob Carpenter – Silent Passage
Sister Flo will probably always remain far more important to me personally, but the reissue of the year is going to be Bob Carpenter’s Silent Passage. Mostly because I have been listening to Sister Flo for ten years, but last year was the first time I actually heard this classic by Bob Carpenter for the first time. I had been aware of Silent Passage for many years and when No Quarter reissued it in 2014, I knew I needed to pick up a copy so that I’m finally able to hear this album. Buying a copy was definitely a great decision, because Silent Passage definitely lived up to it’s status as one of the great lost country-folk treasures.