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  • David Bentley

'Rules' - Kafuku’s wife (single)

Kafuku. Didn’t he play centre forward for Everton and Manchester United?

Actually it seems the Inspiration for the lyric was taken from Haruki Murakami’s ‘Drive My Car’ from the book of short stories ‘Men without Women.’ Kafuku is an ageing actor, who in the story is pondering his late wife’s love affairs, of which he was well aware that she embarked on after they lost their infant child. The song is the wife’s attempt to redeem her actions. It becomes a sort of study on the complex emotions and reactions after a terrible loss, as the wife is doing the best she can to move on and to find a way to continue to love and honour her husband. The short story is narrated exclusively from the reminiscing husband’s point of view, so we don’t get the wife’s side of the story: the song is an attempt to take the wife’s stance, in order to interpret her actions.

That’s quite a long and complex introduction to a song in which the lyrics don’t kick in until half way through. But it is the opening section of the song which really attracted me. RULES were able to catch a Middle Eastern flavour even with synths and the structure of that first half reminds me very much of Highasakite’s ‘Iran’ with the supporting vocal not dissimilar from Ingrid Helene Håvik’s Bulgarian throat singing on that track.

I wish it could have carried in the same manner throughout, as it loses that early impetus as the story begins and becomes a little repetitive towards the end. Still an enjoyable track though and worth more than a casual listen.

RULES are a Helsinki-based synth-pop duo. The lyrics of RULES music are based on characters from world literature.

One of them is Iiti Yli-Harja from the 14-year old band Pintandwefall, which is on the same label (Soliti). Named like the Spice Girls are, I believe she is the one known as ‘Tough Pint’.

The lyricist is Sarra Keppola, a graduate of English and world literature. They teamed up with Oskari Halsti (SMG, Wedding Crashers) who is behind the production of the songs, as well as the drums of the live set-up.

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Promo Picture by Pekka Härkönen


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