Wends - 'When we Sleep'
Photo Copyright by Niina Pietarinen
Somehow I need to get us out of the cycle of backlogs and always having great music we havent quite got around to reviewing – having a couple more people writing Nordic Music reviews would help, we have a number of kind ‘helpers’ and ‘encouragers’, but I’m left to write most of the Album reviews - (just drop us in an email if youre interested in trying one yourself). Anyway so just to start off with an apology to Finnish band ‘Wends’, whom I told a long long time ago that we were going to write something, but havent got round to it.
But there's a positive here too, as regular readers know, I listen to albums lots of times before I start reviewing, and having 'Wends' album ‘When We Sleep’ on the long ‘To Review Playlist’, has meant that i've grown to like it more and more over the last couple of months. Its their debut album, and its Indie Pop which probably has more ‘pop’ than I would normally listen to, but its an album with some good songs, depth and great ambition.
They open with ‘Remodel Me, and the piano introduction and ballad style vocals instantly appeal to me – hints again of a soulful Thirteen Senses, and it has a quiet sense of confidence, authority and purpose. ‘Across the Oceans’ has bigger ambitions, a well written big sounding track that wouldn’t feel out of place on a Festival stage.
The album moves in a slightly different direction with ‘Satan Stuck My Head in a Microwave’ it has a dark edge to the sound, before we’re treated to the stand out ‘When we Sleep, a beautifully written song with an intense, if slightly melancholy chorus. With ‘I am Light’ the band return to a more melodic catchy sounding sound, it's contemporary sounding and very effective.
Ok so even after about 10 listens, a few of the latter tracks slightly wash over me, maybe it’s a bit too far out of my normal listening comfort zone, and probably more appealing to music lovers not, like me, brought up on a diet of Sonic Youth and in awe of the Alphabet Business Concern. However this is a band that simply like writing songs with good tunes and interesting lyrics. In a similar way to English bands such as ‘The Feeling’, there is nothing wrong with writing feel good melodic tracks that make people smile, but 'Wends' have soul and character too, and ‘When We Sleep’ is a fine debut album. Go and listen for yourself.
Nordic Music Review 7 1/2 /10