Albums We Missed (7) - Puunhalaaja: Puunhalaaja

Sometimes it does take a while for music to hit home, and when I first listened to Finnish artist ‘Puunhalaaja’ (and the album ‘Puunhalaaja’) a few weeks back I liked what I heard, however I didn’t fully engage with it. But after a couple of weeks without hearing it, I put it on again this week, and suddenly felt an overwhelming reassuring connection, as if I was dusting off an old vinyl favourite - subconsciously this had been growing on me all along. From the jaunty opening to ‘Post-It-Lappuja’ this is an album packed full of gentle tunes, carefully crafted guitars and calming vocals. If this album was human, I don’t think it would have a bad bone in its body. There is an almost delibera

Albums We Missed (6) - Dreamers Circus: Second Movement

Whilst end of year ‘Best of…’ lists and the more official music awards are all subjective, they do have their uses for finding those gems that we’ve otherwise missed out on - and we will be doing our own between Christmas and New Year. So i was delighted that I came across the Danish Music Awards Folk 2015 and the recognition to ‘Dreamers Circus’ for their 2nd album which is entitled ‘Second Movement’. I’ve been listening to this album for 2 weeks now , and it is quite simply sensational. The set up is based around violin, cittern and piano (or accordion), and they’ve been active since 2009 when the band met in a pub jamming session. The music is a beautiful blend of traditional folk infus

Albums We Missed (5) - 'Nightwish': Endless Forms Most Beautiful

We don’t cover much within the ‘metal’ genre, which is simply a reflection of our complete lack of expertise in this area (which will no doubt become clear as you read this), so I sought some recommendations from a kind Twitter follower on where I should start. I’ve had a few false starts over the year with submissions I didn’t rate that highly, but thankfully I started this time with the hugely infleuntial ‘Nightwish’, who I’d come across anyway and are a long standing familiar name across the world. ‘Endless Forms Most Beautiful’ is a blisteringly good album which delivers everything you’d expect, but is actually a great introduction to heavier metal because as a ‘Symphonic Metal’ band th

Albums We Missed (4) - Magnolia Shoals: 'Tenants'

Back to Denmark for our 4th album in this ‘In Short’ series, an excellent debut offering from Danish band Magnolia Shoals called ‘Tenants', which appears to have been a few years in the making, but has been worthwhile the wait. The albums been followed up with a successful summer touring, and playing festivals, and the live videos I've seen of these increase my interest because there appears to be an intensity about them, and the vocals work really well. The album itself simply has a really nice sound to it, with acoustic guitar at the fore, but with sutble use of strings in tracks such as 'Western Whereabouts'. I love 'Christ The Tiger' in particular and they are another band that use brass

Albums We Missed (3) - Dråpe: 'Relax/Relapse'

We probably hung back from reviewing Norwegian band Dråpe and their album ‘Relax / Relapse’ when it was released in October, because it was covered by so many different websites / blogs and we thought most people would have come across it anyway. But I’ve been listening to it so much on the last 2 months, that I still wanted to get it on record just how good this album is. It’s the 2nd album from the Norwegian band, who released ‘Canicular Days’ a couple of years back, and the new album is another step forward with a dream pop release packed full of addictive melodies and carefully crafted tracks. Highlights include the brilliant ‘?’ with a clever time signature and a hypnotic tune, and my f

Albums We Missed (2) - Satan's Fingers: 'Enduring Love'

The next in our 'In Short' series is the Finnish outfit Satan’s Fingers, who’s name frequently appears online and leaves me increasingly guilty that we’ve never given them a mention. It was actually their excellent fellow Finnish band ‘Flannelmouth’ who originally recommended them to us, but the fact that ‘One Chord to Another’ also regard them highly is another great endorsement – he’s had the privilege of seeing them live. They’re a 2 piece band, who play raucous and slightly riotous low fi songs, with brilliant lyrics and their debut album was released earlier this year which is called ‘Enduring Love’. Now this is really low fi stuff, if you’re expecting a traditional band sound with may

Albums We Missed (1) - Frisk Frugt: 'Den Europæiske Spejlbue'

We’re squeezing in an ‘In Short’ series of 8 Artists / Bands just before Christmas that we missed earlier in the year when they released albums, either because we were away or too busy at the time. The first is the remarkable Frisk Frugt, otherwise known as multi-instrumentalist and composer Anders Lauge Meldgaard. And when we say multi-instrumentalist, we really mean that as his album released at the beginning of the year entitled Den Europæiske Spejlbue is packed full of every sound, instrument noise you could possibly imagine. The result is an extraordinary mix of sounds that, at first listen, appear complex and even almost indecipherable. Slowly but surely glimpses of fragmented tunes

Circumnavigate - 'Breathe Slow' new single and video

Here is a 2nd quick single for you this Friday night, this time from a band who’s progress we’ve been following for a while, Circumnavigate, the Norwegian / British band who are based in London and have released 2 interesting singles in the last few months, ‘Lifelines’ and ‘Back in the Day’. Anyway they’re back with a final installment for 2015, and its called ‘Breathe Slow’, and this is hot off the press as it was only released yesterday. Again its slightly different from their previous singles in that it feels more laid back, slightly dreamy, but the instrumentation in the latter part of the track shows their normal wide ranging musical influences, particularly the jazz trumpet, and again

Matti Jasu and the Loose Train - 'What Goes On' Single and Video

Its Friday night, so after a week of album reviews and some hefty pre-Christmas releases, here’s a really quick easy listening single to start the weekend with. Its from Matti Jasu and the Loose Train, and its called ‘What Goes On’, with a lovely video to go with it. We haven’t mentioned these guys before, but they’re from Finland (Turku again...), and its the 2nd single from their up and coming album called ‘Gone to the Dogs’ which we assume is released in the New Year. Matti Jasu originally played in a band called Goodnight Monsters, who released 2 albums, but then went on to form up with the band the Loose Train, and this will be their 2nd album too. It’s a lovely melodic 60s influenced t

Juha Kujanpää - 'Kultasiipi' ('Goldwing')

A couple of people have kindly said to us lately that they like Nordic Music Review because in addition to the more traditional indie bands and singer songwriters featured, we cover some fairly ‘unusual’ releases too. That did get me thinking slightly, because to me nothing is unusual, it’s just that most radio stations, websites and magazines cater for similar types of music. And from a live music perspective, whilst we might love our Bror Forsgens and Valslands at NMR, the unfortunate reality is that it’s not really practical or financially viable for music promoters to put on a gig for a combined orchestra and post rock band, which is also why we asked Sara Forslund to play in a small chu

New Band - 'As he said' with new single 'Parasite'

Often through covering an artist or band from a particular country or genre, we stumble upon someone else (or they stumble upon us...) from a similar area, and that’s the case with our next new band ‘As he said’ who are now based in Trondheim, Norway, and have some similarities with fellow Norwegian band ‘Antler’ whom we featured a couple of weeks back. They don’t have too much material to check out, but their new single ‘Parasite’ is a really good place to start, as the bands wide influences (they come from a vast array of musical backgrounds) combine to produce a dreamy alternative track which utilizes synths, guitars and unleashes a killer chorus - its well worth checking out and you can

Gold Celeste - LIVE! Old Blue Last

Norwegian outfit Gold Celeste played a midweek gig at the Old Blue Last, Shoreditch, on a dank and dreary December night and by the time the clock struck midnight, had turned the venue on its head with their blissed out golden soulful psych indie sound. Theirs is a musical peg that doesn’t fit easily into any standard holes. Rather, it flows across several borders into the various genres of psych, indie, soul, jazz, pop and even a bit of dream. Which is why their sound fits and sits so well with fans of all music religions. Gold Celeste are job-sharing Simen Hallset and Eirik Fidjeland, who between them play bass, electric/acoustic guitar, keys and sing lead and backing vocals, along with

Anette Askvik - new video 'Supernova'

We haven’t mentioned Norwegian singer songwriter Anette Askvik at all since we started, although if we are to make excuses, she released her full length album ‘Liberty’ back in 2011, and we weren’t around then. If you haven’t come across her though, the album is well worth checking out, and it’s available on streaming services and Itunes. Anyway Anette has also toured fairly extensively, and shes played the UK, including one of our favourite London venues, the Bedford in Balham, which is also where Sara Forslund played recently. The good news is that she is back, and currently recording a new album which we hope we’ll get to hear in the new year. In the meantime we have a single listen to, a

New Band - Mama Sonic + debut single 'Grapefruit'

We like to keep an eye on artists whom we featured in our ’50 New Bands and Artists’ feature, so we were delighted to hear from Jacob Hallerström. We featured an EP he wrote about 12 months ago including one song in particular called Mary By The Coast, which you can still track down on Soundcloud – I’ve just listened to it again today, and its good. Anyway he’s moved on from his solo work for a while, and joined together with some fellow Stockholm musicians to form a new band called Mama Sonic, named after the legendary indie club in Stockholm called Baba Sonic. Two weeks ago they released a debut single called ‘Grapefruit’ and we’re delighted to bring it (and Mama Sonic) to your attention.

Valsaland - 'Fängelset'

We're back today to our favourite topic of music that blends together many different musical influences and ends up offering something very different. And Swedish project Valsaland, whom we featured as a new band in the spring very much fit into that category. I guess they can be described as post rock but they use a huge array of musicians, and to add to the mix, all their previous releases have been backed by stunning videos. Since we featured them they have gone onto win a stream of worldwide awards for these videos, but it's now time for a more conventional release in the form of their new album ‘Fängelset’ which was released in the last week or so. I've been really looking forward to

Handshake - 'Runaway'

Leading up to Christmas last year the new releases dried up at the end of November, but we seem to be getting more new music sent to us than ever, and we’ll be glad of the Christmas / New Year break to catch up on our backlog. And one new release we’re already a bit behind with is the Swedish project ‘Handshake’, whom we featured a month or so ago as a new artist and who have now released their debut album which is called ‘Runaway’. If you missed that feature then, well ‘Handshake are an interesting combination, the band was formed after electronic instrumental duo Patrik Ebbersten and Carl-Johan Elger joined together with singer Peder Gravlund and they found that the combination of Gravlun

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