The 10 best Finnish albums of 2014

Happy New Year! Before we look forward, let’s look back with a little year-end retrospect: The Best 10 Finnish albums of 2014, according to this humble blogger. The list is dominated by artists in their second or third album with a focus on well-crafted songs, but just read on and discover who they are.

Scroll all the way dow to find a playlist compiling songs from all these wonderful albums. Check out the best Finnish albums of previous years here (2013) and here (2012).

10. Soul Shine Society – Back Where You Belong

Not from Jacksonville, but from Tampere, Soul Shine Society defy any trends and play good old fashioned Southern rock, as classy as the best bourbon on the rocks. This year the band gathered a few good songs on the album Back Where You Belong. Rock on!

9. Damn Seagulls – Let It Shine

Back after a break, soul rock veterans Damn Seagulls returned in 2014 and delivered a short but strong collection of feel good songs in Let It Shine.

8. Tuomo – The New Mystique

Very early in the year Tuomo published a perfect album to make you feel like the king and queen of dance floor as he delivered some Prince-inspired, soulful electro r&b with a hint of 90s dance.

7. POLANSKI – Between This And Hate

It is rare to find very good hard rock albums these days, but POLANSKI gave us just that: a very solid hard rock album avoiding clichés and nostalgia. The guitar riffs are powerful and the performances are top notch. Play loud!

6. Black Twig – Heliogram

Black Twig is one of the bands that better define the characteristic sound of the Soliti factory. The ingredients are shoegaze, post-punk, brilliant dreamy melodies and catchy pop songs. The track Sunday Air has it all.

5. Koria Kitten Riot – Rich Men Poor Men Good Men

I have a soft spot for Americana-inspired pop songs and Koria Kitten Riot have a good bunch of them, so it’s no wonder that Rich Men Poor Men Good Men ranks high on this list. The songwriting is excellent, with such attention to details and beautiful arrangements that it is hard to keep this album on the shelf for a long time.

4. Gim Kordon – Ei Ole Helppoo

There’s been a lot of hype around Gim Kordon music and gigs, but all the hype is real thanks to high-energy alternative punk rock. It is all about having a good time!

3. Kota – Valoenkeli

I was very surprised by this album written and recorded in the deepest parts of the Finnish Lapland. Kota play strange, intimate, yet powerful folk. Spooky at times, but emotive and touching.

2. Ochre Room – Box, Bar & Diamond

Ochre Room could easily be the most elegant band in Finland with their heartfelt, well-crafted, folkie pop songs. Just listen to Wistful Smiles, it’s timeless music.

1. Mirel Wagner – When The Cellar Children See The Light Of Day

This is kind of an obvious choice, but Mirel Wagner’s second album did not disappoint and equals, and even improves, her astonishing debut. The songwriting is so captivating and with only a few notes on her acoustic guitar and her gloomy vocals, Mirel creates such a dark, macabre world that comes to life through a series of  stripped down folk stories. It may not be easy listening, but it’s relevant and unique.

Here’s the playlist with a few songs from these albums: