Time to post some shogazing indie rock to gain back some indie street cred, so here’s NEØV (had to copy-paste that name as I don’t know how to find “Ø” on the keyboard) with a spankin’ new music video for a song called The Rain People from an upcoming album called Dominique.

I’ve written about them before, but let’s do a quick recap. The driving force in the band are the brothers Anssi and Samuli Neuvonen, originally from Juankoski (also famous for being the birthplace of Finnish rock legend Juice Leskinen). They had a band called Neufvoin up until 2012, when it started a new life as NEØV. Quite obvious that the brothers last name Neuvonen has influenced the choice of band names. (Small infobit: “Neuvo” is Finnish for “Advice”.)

And that’s it for now. Just listen and enjoy the grandiose and intimate sounds that according to some bio I’ve read reflect the vast lake scenery in the area around the city of Kuopio, which is where the band resides.


Now here’s a new Finnish artist that may, just may, rise to fame. Well, he is already famous but not as a singer. During the Autumn of 2013 Benjamin Peltonen, then 16 years old, stepped into the limelight on Instagram.

He and his friend started taking pictures and adding them to the popular pic sharing social medium back in 2012, but in the beginning they concentrated on taking pics of landscapes. “Boooriiiing” they got told, “Why would anyone want to see woods?” So they started taking pics of themselves with the help of each other.

With Benjamin this selfie-thing took off in a surprisingly successful way, and just after two months he suddenly had over 80 000 followers on Instagram. That is a HUGE amount for a teenager from Finland that in reality was completely unknown. It might have something to do with him being pretty handsome, which would explain the overwhelming majority of young female followers and comments. As I’m writing this (September 16th, 9.40 am) he has gathered an amazing following of 214 401 people from all over the globe.

And there most probably will be more as he now tries his wings as a pop artist. The debut single Underdogs is presented above and the music and video suit his style and image very well, but to tell you the truth he isn’t the best of singers.

Don’t get me wrong, he isn’t terrible either and the tune itself is actually quite catchy, but if he would have started his career in music before the large gathering on Instagram this thing would never have taken off. In his case the mediocre singing doesn’t really matter as his thing relies on much more than that. He seems to be a social media snowball that is gaining momentum by itself and the music career is just another aspect of that.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

There is actually another Finnish male teenager with over 200 000 followers on Instagram (as I write this 219 097 to be exact) and that is pop star Isac Elliot. He can sing though and for him the social media thing is a complement to his career in music. Both are interesting examples of celebrity in this day and age, especially as they are both Finns with a growing global following. Quite hard to imagine this just, say, 15 years ago.

I could also add Youtube-celebrity Smokahontas (used to be “Smoukahontas”), real name Sara Maria Forsberg, to this company of rising stars from Finland that make use of social media in a big way. She is also pursuing a career in music and has actually landed a worldwide record deal with Capitol Records in the US. Looking forward to hearing her on her own tracks ‘cause that lady can sing!


Q
Hey, I really like your posts, You've got an awesome blog, Whats your frankly.me handle, want to interview you?
A

Hey thanks! An interview, sure, but I’m not on frankly.me. Should I?


It seems Poets of the Fall is alive and kicking, and still sounding like themselves. You know, that ambient rock sound of theirs. This is Daze, the first track released from their coming album Jealous Gods.

Have to be honest with you though, even though I love the makeup on singer Marko Saaresto, it has to be said: this music video is stretching the theme for way too long. The flaming climax should come earlier and maybe a video edit of the song would have been nice. This is almost five minutes long.

Nice to see the band is still active though.


It seems I have a few followers. 341 to be exact (19/8 2014). Nice! I hope you guys find something interesting on this tumblr o’ mine from time to time and that it enlightens and broadens the picture of the Finnish pop music scene in some sense.

I have also noticed that some of you followers seem to study Finnish, and some even study Swedish. I mostly link stuff in English from Finland, but from time to time I have something in the indigenous languages of my country. Mostly in Finnish, but sometimes in Swedish too. I should find something in the Sami and Roma languages as well, maybe even Russian, so there’s a challenge for me. As long as it’s music and from Finland it has a potential of being blogged here.

So here’s something new in Finnish, a track from the popular band Haloo Helsinki! They’ve been around since 2006, and their debut album came out two years later. They’ve grown in popularity with each album release and the fourth album, Maailma on tehty meitä varten (= The world was made for us), was their first chart topper and has sold over 40 000 copies, which makes it a double platinum album in Finland.

Right now Haloo Helsinki! is preparing to release their fifth album called Kiitos ei ole kirosana (= Thanks is not a profanity), and the first single Beibi sounds both familiar and new. It has that melancholic pop rock-sound one is used to with this band, but it seems they’ve mixed in some Pendulum-vibes on the drums. Drum’n’bass more or less. It would be very interesting to see how this works live, ‘cause that drummer will be sweaty as hell after that track.

Also, if there are any Bulgarians reading this it might be interesting to know that the video was filmed in some old ironworks in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia.


More electronic dance music now as dj/producer Lenno released his new song called Wake Up on Friday, with The Electric Sons on vocals. Well, actually just the singer from the band, Andrew Miller.

It’s a feel good, upbeat, progressive house-track. Not really the nu-disco we’re used to hearing from Lenno, but still on a vibe that makes you smile. According to what I’ve read it’s composed with the thought of driving down to the beach on a summer day with good friends.

But who are The Electric Sons? A electro pop band from Atlanta in the US it would seem. On the rise it seems.


I already posted this song called Good Life when TJH87 released it on their Soundcloud-page, but now we have a clever video too. See if you can recognize all the album covers that float by there. This version of the song is almost two minutes shorter though.

In the end of the video it says "In Memory Of Stupido-Shop Record Store 1995-2014". That record shop, last address on Helsinginkatu 16 in a part of Helsinki called Kallio, has been central to many local record crate diggers and I am sad to hear that they had to close down due to economical difficulties. Finding classic albums or unknown greats in record crates often inspires great new music.


Mirel Wagner is gathering some exciting reviews and attention out there. Her second album When The Cellar Children See The Light Of Day got premiered on NPR Music in the US, the UK music magazine Mojo gave it a full 5 out of 5, while Uncut magazine gave it 8 out of 10 and the American music webzine Pitchfork gave it a favorable 7.2-review.

I don’t think any Finnish indie artist has ever gathered this much attention in the world and being signed to legendary label Sub Pop probably has something to do with that. They recognized the talent in Mirel and now she’s under their wing, which is probably worth a lot as they probably get attention from all these prominent music medias mentioned above.

It is a bit sad to realize that making good and/or interesting music is not enough to make yourself heard. You also need connections to spread that music to the right ears, but I’m really glad Mirel Wagner has been presented with this opportunity and I hope it will last.

So check out the latest of her gloomy, dead, dead good (quoting the Mojo magazine review there) music videos. Here’s The Dirt.


This was a nice surprise. I started checking out the video for the song Love by Klubi77, an artist I’ve never encountered before. I had no idea what was coming and I actually was expecting some sort of Suomirock (basically rock music in Finnish) for some reason. Might have had something to do with the set up for the video and the guy who speaks Finnish in the beginning (he seems to be indirectly speaking to a job applicant).

But when vocalist Alexandra Lehti starts singing (in English) I woke up. This is actually poppy house/disco, a dancy-dance-dance tune with very nice vocals and refreshing guitar and saxophone bits included!

So who is this Klubi77? Well, his real name seems to be Perttu Kurttila, born 1990 in Helsinki. He’s also the drummer for melodic death metal band Tracedawn and seems to be a talented sound designer involved in commercials and the music of other artists!

He also seems to be the director for his own music video, which had a budget of zero euros.

This is a promising guy!

And the singer! Besides having a great voice Alexandra Lehti seems to be a popular Finnish blogger (sogoliveit.blogspot.com/).


Finnish duo TJH87, that’s Timo Juuti and Hector 87, are at it again with a great nu-disco groove. This time they have the American duo Gamble & Burke on vocals.

It’s called Good Life and this actually could be a soundtrack for a good life. Enjoy!