Ghost of Jack Nance – Summerday
Ghost of Jack Nance, one of the latest newcomers to the Soliti family, put out this week their debut release called My Heart Sings. Despite the lovey dovey, 50s crooning title, this five-track EP feels like a punch straight to the stomach thanks to the noisy guitar, the minimalistic, yet pungent percussion, and the vocals coming from a distant, grisly place. Yes, indeed, the songs trap you in a dense and abrasive atmosphere. Fortunately, the songs have a good sense of pop melody and enough hooks to keep the music in rotation.
Watch the VHS video below and download/stream the whole EP from your favourite digital outlets.
Them Bird Things – The Tinker’s Tale
Come February, Finn-Americana masters Them Bird Things will release their fourth album and today the band is unveiling the lead single called The Tinker’s Tale, which you can already hear below. The track has a very groovy late 60’s vibe thanks to organ and congas. With this new album, Them Bird Things also promise a return to their electric roots, following the introspective, mostly acoustic effort Pachyderm Nightmares (2013).
The new album is called The Bride Who Came to Yellow Sky and the band describes it as a “twisted ménage à trois between the authors of The Canterbury Tales, The Bhagavad-Gita and George Smiley with Buck Owens as their unholy offspring”.
Like in previous releases we should expect carefully crafted songs transiting traditional Americana sounds, and delivering lyrics telling tales of this old weird world. This time the album was recorded straight to analogue tape so fetching a physical release will make much sense. Hopefully there will be a vinyl edition too for a full analogue experience.
The Bride Who Came to Yellow Sky is out on 6 February 2015.
Kota – Kitka
This is the darkest time of the year. A grey and cold month in Finland, when the sun barely raises on the horizon and there is no snow to brighten up the streets. Such time calls for a spooky soundtrack and Lappish artist Kota provides it in the form of obscure folk songs created mixing different elements of electronic music, doom and modern pop.
In early December, Kota is releasing the concept album Valoenkeli, an album rooted deep in the Nordic nature. It was recorded in a wooden cabin by the lake Kitka in Lapland under the midnight sun, and enhanced by the instruments made out of tree stumps, reindeer pelts and bones, all crafted by the artist himself.
Check out below the video for the song Kitka. You guessed it. Directed by Kota in collaboration with the cinematographer Pasi Tiitola, the video was filmed at lake Kitka and its surroundings in the Finnish Lapland. According to the artist, “The video itself expands the saga of Valoenkeli combining the stories of several songs into one picturesque entity. The timeless nature of Lapland, man’s blind determination, shamanism and parallel realities are merged with humane longing and eventually hope”.
Callisto – Backbone
Turku’s six piece band Callisto is one of those metal/doom groups that can appeal an audience beyond the usual metal scene. For over ten years, Callisto have come out with strong releases, based on heavy riffing, growling vocals and prog-rock elements to create suffocating atmospheres -listen to 2006’s Noir for reference. Now the band presents a new single, which is a something a little bit more straightforward and fast, but as much rocking and heavy as before.
The song will be included in Callisto’s forthcoming album, Secret Youth, out in January via Svart Records.
Photo by Juha Metso
POLANSKI – Wasted Mind
Grunge is long gone, but not forgotten. Helsinki band POLANSKI have just released their debut, Between This and Hate, and it could have been recorded in Seattle in 1993. But make no mistake, this is not a nostalgia act, this is not Creed. While the band sounds somewhere between Soundgarden and Alice In Chains, it also brings a powerful and fresh sound to the genre, thanks to an enormous production and solid songwriting, based on strong guitar riffs and precise melodies inspired by Layne Stanley. Overall, POLANSKI have come up with a very good, hard rocking album.
Listen below to the album’s opening track Wasted Mind, one of my favourites. The days are cold and dark in the autumn so go and find a thick flannel shirt while listening to POLANSKI.