In preparation for Modern Sky Helsinki I’ve been listening through exactly everything I could find from each artist on Spotify. Musicwise that was one of my best ideas so far this year as it has meant I got to know a whole lot of awesome artists that I was barely aware of, if at all, prior to June. Most of my new favorites hail from the host country of the festival itself, Finland. Here they are, in case you too are trying to figure out what to actually see at the festival or if you’re just interested in trying something new.
Trimming my Modern Sky Helsinki Spotify playlist has been hard, but it seems my biggest challenge is to decide which songs from Long-Sam to keep. Slow-paced, sweeping electronic music with enchanting capabilities. And there’s something endearing about the lyrics that I fall for over and over. “It’s not 1984, it is much more.” Love it.
Long-Sam is a Helsinki-based artist and producer who has been working in close collaboration with artists such as Solano, Melting Hearts and Jaakko Eino Kalevi. His unique electronic style ranges from experimental avant-garde to catchy pop melodies and choruses. Last year’s cinematic album “Shout” has already been followed by two new videos and singles that will be featured in the new album titled “Elephant”.
When skweee first came around I tried to get into it, but failed completely. I just didn’t get it at all. Trying to listen again more recently, it still didn’t work for me. Seems I’ve just been listening to the wrong artists, because when Eero Johannes does skweee it sounds amazing.
Eero Johannes is a composer and musician based in Helsinki. Mostly assosiated with the Scandinavian Skweee-movement, he has performed his hyper-melodic slowfast synth funk live on various venues from indie clubs to bigger festivals, including Sonar Festival, NOTCH Festival China, Roskilde Festival and Flow Festival in Helsinki.
In many ways NEØV embodies what Nordic music is to me. Whether calm and dreamy or with more of a straightforward rock sound it’s all beautiful and well executed. They also seem like really cool people.
Neovs debut album ”Orange Morning” is a perfectly diverse sound palette of floating melodies and flowing rhythms mixed with many layers of guitars, hazy keyboards and horns. Their broad, flamboyant yet intimate sound, reflects well of their home town Kuopio which is a city surrounded by lakes, and built on small islands.
TEKSTI-TV 666 offers the kind of sound that is perhaps most similar to the kind of music I most frequently find myself listening to from Korea. Heavy focus on the instrumentals with some psychedelic influences. Hard to resist. Thanks to their band name I found myself looking up the contents of Yle’s text TV, but right now there’s nothing on page 666.
Teksti-TV 666 create their hypnotic wall of sound by combining kraut, punk and beautiful melodies. Teksti-TV 666 will release its second EP “2” on 10th of August.
Out of all artists, I’m perhaps most curious to see what Ronya will be like. Her first album from 2012, The Key Is The Key, has sound and lyrics that makes me think of her as the young pop/R&B version of Emilie Autumn while her later songs have more a of that retro electro/synth sound that has been in trend for the past few years.
Ronya is one of the leading female voices in Finland. She started her career at the tender age of 17. In her music you can hear intoxicating guitar twangs and sultry synth tones give way to a pounding bass line that perfectly complements the young singer’s classic pop vocals. Ronya’s diverse influences are tangible in her music, wich manifests itself in a mystical Scandinavian vibe. She promises to set the Nordic-infused alt-pop scene alight!