Frank Frank Frank / The Holy / Manboy

Vähän nyt menee tällaiseksi yksittäisistä biiseistä bloggaamiseksi lähes päivittäin. Mutta miksipä ei? Jos kerta jotain näin loisteliasta on musiikkirintamalla tehty, ansaitsee se jokaisen hetken huomiovalojen alla. Näitä kaikkia kolmea yhdistää kuitenkin jokin muukin kuin tarttuvat kipaleet, nimittäin savuisilla sävyillä täytetyt videot jostain urbanismin ja metsäisyyden rajamailta.

Ensimmäisenä listalla on juuri Solitille sainattu mieletön naispowertrio Frank Frank Frank debyyttivideollaan Heart, jonka on ohjannut Anna Brotkin. Toisena niinikään Solitin alla musisoiva rockin kerrostumia ilmentävä The Holy, Juho Länsiharjun This Will Be The Day That I Die -biisiin ohjaamalla videollaan. Ja kolmantena vanha tuttu Manboy, joka on viettänyt hiljaiseloa sen verran pitkään, että Rosvojen puolella ei Alice & Junessakaan ole tästä parhaasta kotimaisesta bändistä ever paljoa kirjoitettu (vanhan blogin puolella sitten sitäkin enemmän). Muutama vuosi sitten kuvatun How It Hurts -videon ohjaajana hääri Teemu Niukkanen.

Even though I’m not writing anything deep and meaningful but simply posting individual songs almost every day, I’m doing it again. Because why not? If the music is this good, it deserves every moment in limelight. These three are connected by not just the terrific melodies but also their videos, which share similar smokey hues whilst wandering somewhere between urbanism and deep forests.

Firstly there’s Frank Frank Frank, the power trio which was just signed to Soliti, with their debut video Heart (directed by Anna Brotkin). Secondly, a band full of layers of indie rock aka The Holy, with a video for This Will Be The Day That I Die (directed by Juho Länsiharju). Thirdly our old friend Manboy, which sadly has been hibernating for so long now that there hasn’t been much talk about the best Finnish band ever in Alice & June after moving under Rosvot (lots of talk at the old blog tho’). The video for How It Hurts was directed by Teemu Niukkanen a few years back.

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James Blake – My Willing Heart

Ihan nyt vain ajattelin, että sikäli mikäli maanantainne on (auringosta huolimatta) ollut yhtä väsynyt kuin minun, saattaisitte kaivata kaksikkoa James Blake + Natalie Portman piristämään loppuiltaa. Niin kaunista, kaikin tavoin.

A thought crept into my mind that in case your Monday has been as phlegmatic as mine (despite the sunshine) you might need some cheering up with James Blake and Natalie Portman. So beautiful in all ways possible.

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Ivory Woods – Click Beep Hum Roar

Oulusta ponnistava Ivory Woods on uusi tuttavuus. En tiedä, puhuako bändistä vai enemmänkin yhden miehen musiikkiprojektista, sillä kaiken alkulähde on kuitenkin yksi ja sama ihminen, Jussi Alamikkelä. Biisit henkivät metsäisyyttä, pitkän ulkoilupäivän jälkeistä euforiaa mökin takkatulen ääressä, mutta tietyllä tapaa riipivästi. Nyt ei haaveilla tuulen huojuttamissa puiden latvoissa, vaan rokataan, ja yhdistetään suomalainen hirsimökki brittiläiseen teollisuuskaupunkiin.

Kuulostaa ehkä utopialta, mutta sitä se ei ole. Itseäni viehättää (loistavan, ei-suomalaisen aksentin lisäksi) eniten lauluääni. Tulee mieleen Small Time Giants, josta taas olen kuullut tulevan mieleen Placebo/Brian Molko, kuinkas ollakaan. Fiksaationi normista poikkeaviin lauluääniin on taattu. Kuun alussa ilmestyneen debyytin raidoista ihan kaikki eivät iske, mutta tämä yksi on ylitse muiden. Kuuntele vähintään se! Löytyy Soundcloudin lisäksi myös Spotifysta.

Ivory Woods hailing from Oulu is a new acquaintance to me. I’m not sure whether to talk about a band or an artist, because it all comes down to one man, Jussi Alamikkelä. The songs whisper words of woods and the euphoric feeling of returning to the cabin after a long day outdoors. Although whisper isn’t exactly the right word here – we won’t be hanging all ethereal at tree tops, mut rock ’n’ rolling. And combining that Finnish wooden cabin with the pragmatism of a British industrial town.

Might sound like from another world, but it isn’t. My favourite part of the whole thing (besides the very non-Finnish accent) is definitely the voice. It reminds me of Small Time Giants, which apparently reminds people of Placebo/Brian Molko, how surprising. My fixation for voices excepting from the norm is there again. Not all the songs from the debut album released earlier this month are my cup of tea, but this one was instantly above the others on my ranking. So listen to at least this one! 

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Naistenpäivä 2017 – Tavallinen nainen

Mietimme Junen kanssa, miten juhlistaisimme naistenpäivää blogissa. Koska Junella on tällä viikolla kiireitä, päätimme että minä kokoan kahdenkymmenen biisin soittolistan niistä naisartisteista, joita olen kuunnellut eniten vuonna 2017 eli viimeisen reilun kolmen kuukauden aikana (Junen vuoro on sitten ensi vuonna). Sen pitemmittä puheitta, olkaahan hyvät!

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TAVALLINEN NAINEN

Charlotte Carpenter – Fire
Florence + The Machine – Bedroom Hymns
Goldfrapp – Anymore
ALMA – Karma
M – Tehtaantyttö
SANNI – Moukari
Vesala – Tavallinen nainen
Austra – Beyond A Mortal
Vesta – Kevät
Anna Puu – Kovaa
Alessi – DLD
Juanita Stein – Stargazer
Sóley – Never Cry Moon
Ylva Haru – Nyt
The Staves – Train Tracks
Chisu – Jos menet pois
Viitasen Piia – Rukous rauhasta
Wilsen – Emperor
Phoebe Bridgers – Smoke Signals
Lisa Hannigan – Barton

June and I thought about how we’d celebrate Women’s Day in the blog and came up with a playlist of course. June is pretty busy this week so I made a playlist consisting of twenty songs by female artists I’ve listened to the most this year (June’s turn is next year). Without further ado, enjoy!

 

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Haastattelussa Astrid Swan

Astrid Swanilta ilmestyy ylihuomenna perjantaina uusi albumi From The Bed And Beyond. Paljon tunteita sisällään pitävä ja niitä ulos purkava kokonaisuus kuulostaa kirpeältä, surulliselta, eri suuntiin väreilevältä – ja silti eheältä. Tulossa on myös kokonaisvaltaisia elämyksiä tarjoavia keikkoja ja tulevaisuudessa ties mitä, sillä viime vuosien pyörityksen jälkeen voi taas uskoa siihen, että on tulevaisuus. Aina se ei ole niin yksiselitteistä.

Uuden jännän kynnyksellä kysyin Astridilta muutaman kysymyksen. Haastattelu on englanniksi, joten kielitaidot käyttöön!

Photo by Tekla Vály

Your 6th album is coming out on Friday. It’s an album about becoming a mother and soon afterwards getting a diagnose for a serious disease – and everything that relates to them, your whole world going upside down. What are your topmost feelings about the release right now?
I’m happy and proud and relieved that the album is coming out, I am alive, seem to be pretty healthy and doing exciting things with my time on this planet. I am also feeling exposed and fragile right now. It is surprising how heavy it feels to be dealing with these issues all the time with interviewers. But the comments I have had from people so far are so lovely, I know it was the right thing to do to put this album out. People are responding to these songs like to nothing I have experienced before.

 

When a creative person encounters difficult phases in life, their emotions naturally get channeled to their work. Did your songs from the new album sort of write themselves and was the process easy? Or were there obstacles or emotions which were difficult to put into words?
I don’t take it for granted that I turn my negative life experiences to art. There is much that is so painful to visit, even for the sake of making something. People have to make a conscious choice to tackle trauma such as illness in their work. Sometimes it might be smarter to choose an entirely different theme for your art than what you have personally experienced. But in the case of my album I just decided to write a whole exploration of the body going through transitions. I found that it was helpful for me and necessary as an art project. There is so much that remains impossible to verbalize about the lived experience and so much that is expressionless, yet crucial to form somehow… that’s where music can help.

The writing process was long and quite slow. Living and recovering needed to happen. Some songs poured out directly from a place of sadness, loss and fear, others came more laboriously and through error, trial, and letting go of too rigid rules about what the album would be about. Hope and dreaming, sensuality of the body came in through that. Yes, there were experiences and emotions that didn’t find form, were too much to handle or too mundaine seeming once I tackeled them in music. There were times when I thought that I might be laying myself too bare because every time I sang for example Maija’s song and worked on it in the recording it tore me up again and again.

 

You’ve been very open about getting a diagnose for breast cancer. Personally, I think openness about these kinds of things can’t be emphasized too much because, as we both know, peer support in these situations is crucial. Every Western citizen knows at least one person who has cancer. From The Bed And Beyond definitely gives support to others suffering from the harsh treatments and even gives hope. But what do you think it gives to people who have no idea what medical treatment can do to your mind and body? Or mothers-to-be, as the album is also about motherhood?
I’m hoping that the songs have transcended particular experience and work now on a level that everyone can relate to. I have had some early feedback and a couple of beautiful reviews that suggest this is happening. I am glad. If I can be part of breaking down taboos surrounding illness, health and the body I’m happy! Gender and especially the change of becoming a child-bearer and then a mother are also themes on the album. Maybe I didn’t quite manage to deal with them as extensively as I wanted to, but they glimmer there and give hope while marveling at the strangeness of that transformation too.

 

You’re playing three nights at the WHS theatre in Helsinki next week. The live shows are said to combine music, visual art and an element of the unknown. I’m sure all three nights are going to be spectacular, but can you give a hint about what that “element of the unknown” is?
Well, the element that is unknown is also still a mystery to me. It is the coming together of many strong artistic visions from different fields. Tekla Vály, an amazing photographer, brings her media art to illustrate the themes, Yat, a fabulous designer, has created a versatile wearable artefact, which is also part of the performance. This is as choreographed as I have ever been, but there is still that element of surprise and a possibility of failing too…let’s see what happens!

 

You’ve also got upcoming shows at Tavastia (with Jennie Abrahamson), Tallinn Music Week and Sellosali, Espoo, later on this spring. What are you looking forward to in these specific shows the most and how do they differ from your usual live gigs?
Each show will be an adaptation of the themes and our multiple art forms into the space that we are in on a given evening. Tavastia will be spectacular, simple and cinematic! Sellosali will be a large scale night with different parts and more songs from my back catalogue too. There are more very special shows coming and my aim is that there is no repetition – we will stay on our toes, go with the feeling. One guiding principle is my own boredom with the standard way of doing shows: just playing. Let’s see how easy (or hard) this mold is to break.

 

A cancer diagnose makes people scared of the future, that’s inevitable. I mean, there really isn’t any guarantee one actually has a future… But slowly the trust towards better days grows again. What are your thoughts about future right now and do you have any plans or dreams?
When I started to know that I was going to get through the treatments in 2014, I fell in love with planning like never before. I have always been nervous about big dreams and plans for years to come. Now I have plans and I dream big and colorful. Fear is always there. I am highly aware of the value and uniqueness of this life an each day. Don’t get me wrong, I complain each day too. But I also have given myself license to concentrate on what I deem urgent and important. What a relief.



Thank you dear for this! Any last words?
Remember to lie down in bed and listen to yourself each night before falling asleep. It works.

 

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From The Bed And Beyond ilmestyy perjantaina 3.3.2017.
Ensi viikon levynjulkkarikeikoille löytyy vielä muutamia lippuja Tiketistä.

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Astrid Swan’s new album From The Bed And Beyond is out this Friday. It sounds of crisp thoughts, sadness, the flickering to different directions – and still succeeds in being whole. Upcoming shows will combine other artistic elements with music and who knows what else, because after a few year’s rollercoaster there is an actual future to look forward to. I asked Astrid a few questions about things on her mind, so read her answers above! Also check out Tiketti for live gig tickets.

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Mark Lanegan Band – Nocturne

Mark Lanegan Bandin uusi albumi Gargoyle julkaistaan 28. huhtikuuta. Albumin ensimmäinen sinkkulohkaisu Nocturne on upea. Synkän hypnoottinen kappale nostaa odotukset uutta albumia kohtaan pilviin.

Gargoyle, the new album from Mark Lanegan Band will be released on 28th of April. The first single from the album is called Nocturne and it’s amazing! Expectations of the upcoming album have been raised very high.

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