Summer-Fun Sing-Along Songfest

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Summer is fully blooming so I felt it was the right time to share with you some of the best, (mainly) Finnish summertime-fun tunes. So “tune in” for sunshine, happiness, and strawberries!  

In Finland (and I suppose everywhere else), it’s a tradition to start talking as much bullshit as possible about how great an artist someone is whenever someone either scores a hit or shows originality in songwriting. This is why I was overjoyed when in the curious case of Mirel Wagner it wasn’t just talk. The austere arrangements and compositions, hypnotic songs about the hardships of life proved to be more. Getting signed to Sub Pop (and the inevitable “national export treasure”-talk that followed) didn’t affect her music. When The Cellar Children See The Light Of Day is still just her acoustic guitar playing simple tunes while she solemnly recites tales over them. Yet there is a broader scale of colors at play, and dark doesn’t always mean anguish. In fact I prefer her sophomore release. While I am fond of her music I’d rather not say too much; I’ll let you find out on your own.

I wish the other woman would shut up though.

 


In 2012 Anna Eriksson released Mana. It was not an album I had expected from one of the biggest Iskelmä(-pop) stars of recent memory. If you’re wondering what iskelmä is, let me say it’s to Finnish people what country is to ‘Muricans and schlager to Germans. Except musically they aren’t that close to country and iskelmä-influenced music has ranged from foxtrot to heavy metal. It’s as Finnish as it gets, unfortunately. I hate it. From the bottom of my heart, lying in the bottom of the ocean where I left it after listening to Mana. There are a couple of ways to approach this album. One, you can look at it as an “opportunistic fruit of an artist sliding from iskelmä to pop”, or you can be sensible and look at it as a dark album, creating an aura of weakness around the singer behind it. A weakness that is no more than an unreal disguise hiding the determination and satisfaction-to-circumstances that would not be so well regarded given a more straight approach. And sometimes, sometimes I am overcome with sheer terror. Desperation, loneliness and yearning seep from this album, but never have I been sure whose they are, hers or mine. There are songs that are closer to happiness than misery but with dark undertones that, in the end, leave no more joyous taste in your mouth than the rest. Once I heard a tale, a tale of two men. A man desperate to escape the clutches of his pursuer, heartless and acting on a whim. And of this pursuer who, being as heartless as he was said to be, literally tore his blood-pumping organ from his chest as a useless mechanism. Mana made me sympathize with the latter. Whatever joy you may find in life will eventually fade into a bitter aftertaste and misery, so why not get rid of it all.

If a heart I had, miss you I would. I tore it away for it does not need me. If a heart I had, miss you I would. If a heart I had, die here I would.

Have another one


Keinuva Lahna (engl: swinging beam) was a unique, almost one-off band in the early nineties, formed mainly by the members from YUP, Elinan Surma and Stray Toasters. Rock, samba, funk, jazz, and blues met poetry and country played by a punk band. Nothing, ever, had sounded like them. Nor would anything sound like it again. I have absolutely no idea how I should try to sell this band to you, so it’s perhaps best if you press play on this recently released masterpiece (both EP’s together sold out in two seconds). You can try the previously unreleased song “Homokemikaaleja” or the remastered “Saatanan taajuus“. I’m going to embed the whole original releases below, but I don’t know how long they are going to be available.

Whenever Keinuva Lahna is discussed (or mentioned), it is obligatory to tell everyone to try Ahnal Avuniek, a Greenlandic performance group performing “Suujaat Nanataas“, apparently a very famous piece, the original recordings of which are extremely sought after.


I don’t quite know why but of all the melodeath albums that are, this one has always seemed the most summer to me. Maybe it’s the inevitable notion of the heat of a scorched desert desolation that a true summer equals that comes from a word like Fallout. Or maybe it’s Slumber’s near-perfect distribution of power between the melodies and the atmosphere. It may be a bleak one, but once the night falls bleakness and not joy is what I ask for, regardless of the season. The harmonized leads moving these doomy songs do little to lift them from the depths of misery, but rarely do they turn outright mournful. Perhaps this is the secret of the “summer”-feel Fallout has. And then of course there is the rather easy-going feeling. When mixing the dark and the beautiful it is surprisingly easy to become menacing, yet Slumber on their only full-length managed to maintain a certain relaxation to their sound. Undoubtedly all of these affect its “feel” and have helped it become the summer melodeath(/doom) album.

image (via)

  • The Fish Boz

    That Anna Eriksson song is hitting me hard. Goosebumps and all.

    • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

      The whole album… *shivers*

  • Sir Tapir The Based :]

    Keinuva vitun Lahna! Saw them live and they were fucking great!

  • Tyree

    Summers are fun. Just wish they were colder.

    “And in my darkest fantasy
    And as I reach for hell.
    I am free…”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6szVj15KBUQ

    • KJM

      I’d be loving life if temps didn’t get above 80F during Summer. Instead it’s gonna be in the mid 90s for a fucking week. At least I can go out at night.

    • Maik Bozinton™

      Man, I’ve tried Darkthrone so many times , but I can’t help but laugh at that guitar sound.

      • Malted Hate

        You laugh at the strangest things.

        • Maik Bozinton™

          It sounds so silly, like it was recorded on a toy or something.

          • Malted Hate

            Its black metal dude, what do you expect?
            It’s an acquired taste though, just give it a few spins and it will end up clicking. At least it did for me back when I first found Darkthrone.

      • Tyree
      • Void Dweller

        Keep trying.

        • Maik Bozinton™

          I will.
          I always give a chance to anything.

          • KJM

            I accepted long ago that I have no ear for Black Metal at all.

        • Maik Bozinton™

          I have found this that I like from them.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Juthvm7QjuM

          • Void Dweller

            That’s good, but it’s their newest album, which shows them changing styles again.

          • Malted Hate

            Listen to the previous 3 albums. Funnest time you’ll ever have with DT. Also some of my favorite records to drink beer to.

      • Sir Tapir The Based :]

        KJU?

        • Atomic Wedgie Massacre

          Yes, sweetums?

          • Sir Tapir The Based :]

            For a second there I thought you had stolen Maik’s account.

      • Howard Dean

        *flushes this poser out of the hall and down the toilet ov hell*

    • Malted Hate

      I’ll take Under A funeral Moon over Transylvanian Hunger any day of the week. Such a great album.

      (Actually TH probably is one of my least favorite DarkThrone albums)

      • Tyree

        As much as I do enjoy Transylvanian Hunger, I do agree with you. A Blaze in the Northern Sky is my go to though.

        • Malted Hate

          Oh mine too. Blaze is #1, followed by either Panzerfaust or Funeral Moon I’d say.

          Have you read the book? Such a good read!

          • Max

            What book?

          • Malted Hate

            There’s a Darkthrone book that comes with a 3x Vinyl boxset comp or cd called “Black Death and Beyond”.
            Its pretty great.

          • Max

            Thanks for answering; it does sound great.

        • Hubert

          Blaze it in the northern sky >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

        • That’s kinda interesting that you pick that one. I feel that Blaze is more death metal than Transylvanian.

          Both are good records, still.

          • Tyree

            You are correct. There is black metal in it, just not as much as the 3 after. The production on that album is fucking perfection as well. Riffs, glorious riffs too.

  • EsusMoose

    So yeah, to be a dick or a good corgi I wish to post other songs that are summer-y. . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=By4FxePKe38

  • EsusMoose

    Kienuva Lahan was silly and like an evil twin of ska

  • Bozamole Jim

    If Slumber had blastbeats and brickwall production they’d be Fallujah.

  • Malted Hate

    Loving Mirel Wagner

  • tertius_decimus

    Slumber’s “Fallout” is one of those albums which I have stupidly consciously passed around at the time of release. What a revelation it was to discover this masterpiece more than 10 years after…

    This is the perfect music for such a naïve idiot like me. It cures sanity.

    • oh stahp @tertius_decimus:disqus, we all know who you are!!

    • I enjoy that mix of Melodeath and Doom <3

      So far, I have listened and liked: Barren Earth, Before the Dawn, Daylight Dies, Exgenesis, Ghost Brigade, In Mourning, Insomium, Swallow the Sun, The Man-Eating Tree; and, of course, Slumber.

      • tertius_decimus

        Haven’t heard Exgenesis, Ghost Brigade, The Man-Eating Tree. Gotta check them out. Thanks for your input, Link!

        • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

          (Keep your eyes open for The Man-Eating Tree here on the Toilet)

        • Sir Tapir The Based :]

          Ghost Brigade is pretty fucking good mate.

        • You’re very welcome, my friend.

  • SLUMBERRRRRRRRRR <3

  • Maik Bozinton™

    Slumber is so good.

  • i am really enjoying Mirel and Anna, Paddlin’ Karhu ov Nordling!

  • DCLXVI

    women singers and acoustic guitars? I can’t mash the gas on the Cummins hard enough. Sorry Karhu but I skipped right to comments on this post.

    • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

      You should’ve tried Slumber and Keinuva Lahna, neither have either.

  • miss Eriksson covers “Nothing Else Matters” (and of course it’s better):
    https://youtu.be/ZQjDzJZspFc?t=47m10s

    • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

      She did “Who Wants To Live Forever” (Queen) too. And Je Suis Malade, but translated it. That last one ia pretty freezing (not in a bad way)

  • CT-12

    Interesting post here Karhu. Wasn’t too into Anna or Mirel, but I did enjoy the other 2 bands you posted. Either way, cool listens all around. Thanks brah!

  • The best sing-along album ever: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78x0NOfTKLI

  • JamesGrimm