• David Bentley

Color Dolor 🇫🇮 – ‘Shy’ (single)


It’s good to have the flying Finns Color Dolor back, it seems like an age since their last full-length album, the Teosto prize winning ‘LOVE’ but it was only 2018. They are also one of the first Nordic bands I ever reviewed although their style has changed somewhat since that particular song (‘The Angel’ from 2013 if you’re interested to know).


That little hiatus doesn’t mean that the duo members haven’t been busy, far from it. Nicolas 'Leissi' Rehn has been arranging and performing live with Jesse Markin (who is just about to release his second album)and Yona - both acts recently chart success stories in Finland. Meanwhile, Stina Koistinen released her solo debut album, ‘Ikuisuus’ as ‘Stinako’, which got a Hyundai Nordic Music Price nomination and which might have won it had it not been for a TV series score for the HBO programme ‘Chernobyl’ which got in the way. She also recorded the emotionally riveting ‘Swan/Koistinen EP’ with Astrid Swan, whose new single we featured last week.


The last year or so has seen the duo also working on the follow up to ‘LOVE’ which should be released before the end of the year and with ‘Shy’ being the first single, one that they reworked out of an older song.


I have to admit to being a little surprised to learn that ‘Shy’, is a song about “being too shy to approach a crush or some interesting person”. “You're too shy shy, hush-hush, eye to eye” as Limahl might have once said. On the other hand I can understand the “some interesting person” bit, having myself completely run out of words and dried up like the Sahara when encountering a well-known musician unexpectedly in an airport terminal or on the street.


It is a pretty mainstream subject for a band that has worked at the cutting edge of indie pop for quite a few years now, supporting live the likes of Susanne Sundfør and St Vincent and I wonder if the prompting for it has come from Leissi rather than Stina.


Conversely, don’t expect anything too Kajagoogoo-like here. While the vibe is positive and the melody strong it isn’t really upbeat and there is a hint of sadness lurking in it.

And that is more evident in the video, made by Juha Ilmari Laine and apparently shot in some obscure corner of Helsinki, in a glass bandstand or upmarket bus shelter made for dwarves (Stina isn’t that tall and she’s almost banging her head on the roof) and during which a lovelorn Stina is visited by the ‘Laserskater’ (Elton John on roller skates) but she can only touch him through the glass as if he’s the humanoid in ‘The Shape of Water’.


Musically, this is hardly your typical pop song either, with its dramatic synth-orchestral bridge only a minute in, while Stina’s voice, which I’ve previously described as one of the most seductive in the music business, again rises to the occasion in a way that hardly anyone at Eurovision could hope to match.


I guarantee this song will grow on you very rapidly. Who knows, perhaps Limahl might cover it. He’s still going.

’Shy’ is officially released via Soliti on the 28th May, but the video was released today.


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