I can't even begin to describe the level of guilt I feel for missing so many amazing releases, but hopefully people will understand that it is literally impossible to get to everything. Here's just a few that we missed.
Juha Kujanpää 🇫🇮 - 'Old Ways, New Ways'.
I wrote about Juha in about 2015 when he released his 2nd album 'Goldwing', but this time the Finnish folk / jazz / rock artist has opted for a slightly different band format, which is missing the fiddles. In opening track 'Old Ways, New Ways' this seems to mark little difference, I recognised his distinctive style immediately, but this album does venture off in different directions, as the middle-eastern inspired 'Trekators' shows, whilst the jazz influences are closer to the fore in the epic 'Morning Star'. As always his music is interesting, free-flowing, easy to listen to and beautifully performed - and very different from anything else you'll have heard this week.
Melby 🇸🇪 - 'Looks like a map'
I'm more than disappointed in myself for not getting to a full review of the latest Melby album, but the follow up to their 2019 release 'None of this makes me worry' (was it that long ago?) is as expected, a lovely indie pop release with a number of stand out tracks. Somehow the band manage to create songs with an energy that makes them irresistible, yet with a melancholic backdrop that makes them heartfelt - 'Old Life' probably a good example. The melodies are just fabulous, 'Magic' and my favourite track 'Music Should Feel' showing the band at their best. Another great release from the Rama Lama label.
Evran 🇳🇴 - 'A Perfect Day'
Unlike the 2 previous releases, Evran is an artist we haven't featured previously in Nordic Music Review features, but we have included tracks on our Indie Playlist. The project was created by Norwegian producer and musician Gøran Skage, who had demos and half written songs unused from other musical endeavours. The result is a curious but always interesting album that floats across multiple genres. 'I Miss the Way You Smell In The Summer' sounds like an indie track reminiscent of Thirteen Senses, whist tracks such as 'I Forgot You Were Gone (Part 1)' have an atmospheric minimalist feel.
Gudfinnur 🇮🇸 - 'You'
We've featured the excellent Icelandic post rock band For a Minor Reflection on playlists previously, and Gudfinnur is from that band, now venturing out on a solo project. He describes his music as 'story of love and loss in a soundscape located somewhere between the physical world and our world of dreams', and his album very much hits the mark, with gentle soft intimacy that allows you to get completely lost in his world. Hightlights include the beautiful ballad'When You're Not Here' and the equally powerful 'I Spoke With You Today'. I think it's the lyrics that hit home as much as the music.
Red Lama 🇩🇰 - 'Memory Terrain'
The third album from the Copenhagen 6 piece, who create an atmospheric psychedelic sound which is so laid back that it's really easy to get inside their world. Title track 'Memory Terrain' is possible the highlight, swelling with a blissful almost post rock wall of sound, 'Someone' has a disturbed energy that carries the track forward, whilst their indie guitar influences shine through in 'La Paz'. It's a good album that benefits throughout from a hypnotic psych feel, and very much feels like a band in control and comfortable with their sound .
There will be 1 more part to this, a Major Parkinson review and a couple from Harri before Christmas itself, then our traditional 'Favourite' singles and albums on about New Year's Eve.