Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Rock & Soul

It’s time for some more juicy Finnish music! Personally, I think Finnish indie bands should be given a bit more attention. I have, for example, witnessed a few dozen gigs too many that were musically awesome but basically no one saw/heard them since no one was there.. I guess people don’t go to see bands that easily if they haven’t even heard of the band before. You gotta start somewhere when you get to know new music, though. I think live gigs are often a nice way to check out new bands.

The problem of unknownness may not be that serious when it comes to Damn Seagulls who have just released their third album Hunting Season. They have been in music magazines, received positive reviews, and people even go to see them live. Damn Seagulls are not the most familiar band to me yet, but I definitely intend to do something about that. Their music has been characterized as alternative rock – and soul rock, thanks to their second album Soul Politics that came out in 2007.

Damn Seagulls have a quite generous selection of music at Last.fm. There are two freely downloadable tracks from the new album, and you can stream every song on their first two albums. I haven’t listened to their first effort One Night at Sirdie’s much yet but I know it is soundwise their most garagey album. The second album Soul Politics shows a renewed band with soul. The album is melodic and lovely, it even includes those really cool wind instruments. I am going to listen to the album a lot more than I have so far. And at some point I will most certainly listen to the new album! (Right now I have about 50 albums waiting to be listened to..)

Hunting Seaso
n (2009)
two freely downloadable songs

Music video for Libertine

Soul Politics
stream here

Music video for Something About It
Music video for Human Torch

One Night at Sirdie’s
stream here

Damn Seagulls at MySpace
Damn Seagulls Website

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Band They Couldn't Hang

Yes, “The band they couldn’t hang” still seems to be the catchphrase of Finnish indie pop act Red Carpet even though they called it quits in the end of year 2007. I myself witnessed their lovely goodbye gig in Helsinki on November 28th. All in all, I saw the band about five times and it was always such a thrill to hear those beautiful melodies and harmonies.

During its existence, Red Carpet brought two fine pop albums to the world: Halfway (2003) and The Noise of Red Carpet (2005). I’ve especially concentrated on the latter, and it really is a solid album of melancholic, gentle, uplifting, and charming guitar pop. The band's music has been compared to Teenage Fanclub, Buffalo Springfield, CSNY and Simon & Garfunkel, for example.

Why I actually decided to write about Red Carpet was that I noticed they have quite many songs at Last.fm – and they’re free downloads! So, go there and hear the absolutely fabulous and gentle songs Blood Sweat and Tears, When You Sing, Golden Days, Reminder, and the amazing baroque pop beauty of Sigh. Sigh, indeed... And don’t forget to listen to the oh-so-lovely song about every 9-year-old boy’s favorite moment, My First Goal! All these songs are from The Noise of Red Carpet album.

Also go to their MySpace, you’ll find a couple of other tracks there, including a cover of Finnish electropop duo Viola’s Sad Eyed Disco Dancers, and a song from their farewell CD single The Band They Couldn't Hang (2007), a song called Death of a Band.

Red Carpet band members have continued making music in other projects. Veli Kauppinen has a project called Tolbiac, and Petri Nakari makes sweet pop tunes as The Wonderminers. It’s really great that such talented guys keep up the good work, even though Red Carpet is no longer among us.

Red Carpet at Last.fm (free downloads)
Red Carpet at MySpace
Tolbiac at MySpace
The Wonderminers at MySpace