Klasu - 'Klasu'
We haven’t featured that many Albums sung in their native language at Nordic Music Review - probably because the majority of releases we become aware of (and get sent) are in English. This is slightly sad, as whilst I understand that the global music industry probably dictates that English is far more convenient and likely to generate worldwide appeal, we must lose some of the instinctive power of the lyrics and poetry, when written in another language. I’m sure there are Artists and music industry experts who could explain and debate this far better than me.
Anyway that brings on to ‘Klasu’, and his self-titled album. We were originally drawn to ‘Klasu’ because he is also a member of Koria Kitten Riot, who are a Nordic Music Review favourite, and his pre-album release ‘Hei Onneton’ (‘Hello Unhappy’) was a lovely song which really appealed to us very much, along with the quirky video that went with it. The album tells the story of a girl that Klasu that met that went abroad soon after he met her. And the key point in relation to the language is that I’m not sure the album would work in English, as the Finnish language seems so appropriate to each of the tracks, heartfelt genuine themes that suit the understated soft indie pop sound.
As always we’ll highlight a few tracks of particular interest. It opens with the aforementioned ‘Hei Onneton’ which I love already, but then follows with a nice enough, but slightly less engaging track ‘Katos Vein’. But there’s no time to be concerned about the album drifting away, because the next track ‘Herttaisin’ is really well written, with acoustic guitar, vocals and strings – but not big luscious sweeping strings, instead they are toned down, plaintive and evocative. It suits the theme of the song very well.
‘Sinä talvena’ (‘That Winter), the next track is even better still, delicate opening with strings again, and a beautiful vocal melody backed by piano, before bass and drums help build the track up and the strings are re-introduced towards a big climactic ending. The intricate guitar opening of ‘Traktorin kyytiin on päästävä’ suits the album and Klasus vocals really well, and the song has a traditional pop feeling to it, I really like it. ‘Toiset tanssii’ (‘Some Dances’) is a late favourite, again with just acoustic guitar and vocals stripped down, and that style is really perfect for Klasus all so very personal delivery. Again the strings at the end of the track are used sparingly, and not for the sake of it.
I’ve really enjoyed listening to Klasus album over the last few days, and working through the lyrical content (supported by my companion Google Translate, probably with some errors). It’s well thought through, emotive but not overbearingly melancholy and the songs are charming and well written. Occasionally it loses its way slightly, some of the instrumental sections meander, but I like in particular the unmistakable identity of the album, Klasu has a real personality that he stamps upon the songs. And I have no doubt that we’ll be hearing more from him.
Nordic Music Review 8/10