I cant deny that it hasn’t been easy getting back into writing reviews after a long holiday, too much lazing around, and a few too many glasses of wine / beer each night hasn’t helped either. But an email which arrived just a couple of days ago has reminded me what a privilege it is to be involved in Nordic Music Review, as being sent an unexpected and excellent EP is a great reminder of why we set the website up in the first place.
‘Traffic Island’ from Turku in Finland may have a slightly dull name, but their latest release ‘Third EP’ is anything but dull, it’s a melodic pop album which is interesting, fun and full of good tunes. Readers in Finland are probably familiar with Traffic Island already, as they’ve released 2 full length albums with a major record label, but their latest release is independent and very much their own – written, recorded and mixed in their own studio.
The songs are all based on real life events and tell stories, which gives them a genuine and heartfelt feel. The opening track ‘Johnny had a Boyfriend’ is a good example, it has a laid back indie pop style with understated vocals accompanied by guitars, and as with all the songs, its bursting with different tuneful themes – check out the video below.
My favourite track though is ‘Rock n Roll’ which opens with a playful quirky theme, and skips through with Jellyfish style vocals and another great chorus, this time with trumpets thrown in for good measure. ‘Lunchbox’ is equally enjoyable, not as original sounding but that doesn’t really matter, and reminding me of some of Jackdaw4s finest release (a band worth checking out if you haven’t come across them before). ‘Paris (France Begins) duet with Anabel’ has a different style to it, soft and melodic, with a really well written cello line, and the song just flows along with a really nice pace.
Traffic Island certainly aren’t afraid to show their Alternative and Pop influences in their writing, and whilst this therefore probably doesn’t make them the most startling, innovative or unique sounding band, I like this EP very much. Its exactly the type of music I love coming across, its unashamedly packed full of good tunes, slightly offbeat at times, with interesting thoughtful stories, and its undoubtedly amongst my favourite EP releases since we started a few months ago.
Traffic Islands ‘Third EP’ is available on Itunes (I’ve just checked), but you can try it first on Spotify and Soundcloud, or visit their Facebook page for more info!