Maria Kalaniemi – “Pilvet”.

Hey people! 🙂

Today I have a Finnish folk piece for you. It comes from Maria Kalaniemi’s brand new April album called “Mielo”, which means Mind in Finnish, recorded together with harmonium player Eero Grundström. Maria Kalaniemi is a multi-instrumentalist, but her main instrument, andt the one she’s most known for playing, is accordion, she also seems to be a bit of a promoter/propagator of accordion in Finland, and Sweden too.

I am generally not a fan of accordion at all. Like, it’s my second least favourite instrument after saxophone, though I don’t like these two instruments for vastly different reasons. I don’t like saxophone because it doesn’t agree with my brain, I find the sound of it sensorily overwhelming, while with accordion I just think it’s not particularly aesthetically pleasing. I’d always had such an idea about accordion that it’s just the most primitive, kinda ribald, kitschy instrument that has ever existed and I’ve always associated it with cheap, village bridals and heavily drinking people. 😀 Okay, alternatively with tangos as such, which I’m not into either. I guess it’s not just me being weird because lots of people seem to share such opinions. Not even my fascination with Celtic music was able to change that. But… it did change a bit after I first heard Maria Kalaniemi. When I was trying to learn something about Finnish folk, back when I was still completely clueless about it, Maria Kalaniemi was the first Finnish folk musician that I came across, and was mentioned as very popular in her genre in Finland, and I was a bit disappointed, because “What? Really? Doesn’t Finland have anything better in her musical heritage than accordion? That sounds concerning!”. But when I heard her I changed my mind. Because when Maria Kalaniemi plays accordion, it sounds nothing like what I’d ever heard on this instrument. It suddenly becomes very lyrical and dreamy. And even folk dances performed by her sound better than most dance pieces for this instrument I’ve heard. She’s really, really good, or at least resonates with me somehow. I do not like all of her music, but she definitely managed to change my view on this instrument a bit. Another interesting person (also from Finland) who made me see that accordion doesn’t necessarily have to be kitschy was another Finn, though not folksy – Kimmo Pohjonen. – I watched a documentary about him with my Mum and it was quite stunning what bizarre and intriguing things he could do with this instrument. It still remains one of my least favourite instruments but, as I said, has a better reputation with me now.

And this piece from Kalaniemi I want to show you is definitely very lyrical and emotive, I just love it and its harmonies. It does really make me feel a bit like I was floating on clouds, and I love music that can convey such rich images/emotions.

I haven’t made up my mind about it yet but it’s possible I’ll share another piece by Maria Kalaniemi tomorrow as well, the one I’ve heard first. For now, I hope you enjoy Pilvet.

Lxandra – “Swimming Pools”.

Hi lovely people! 🙂

I have a song from a really cool, young singer for you today. Alexandra Lehti, aka Lxandra, was raised in an inhabited Finnish fortress called Suomenlinna, and has a Finnish father (Pekka Lehti – bassist who played with a fair few bands including a great female folk Värttinä, and he also seems to be a music producer -) and a German mother. I’ve heard this song for the first time a couple weeks ago and this was my first contact with Lxandra’s music. I really like her vocals, which are often compared with Adele and indeed there is some similarity. This song is about being true to who you are and where you come from, which is something that resonates with me as I feel strongly about cultivating your roots, on all sorts of different levels, and the message in Lxandra’s song seems to be more about our individual roots and background.

Olivera – “I Can’t Sleep”.

Hey people! 🙂

Yesterday I said that I listen to a lot of Finnish pop lately. Well, here is one of my recent favourites. I was thinking for quite a while whether I’d prefer to show you the normal version, or the acoustic one, as I like both, but in the end I thought I like the acoustic more in this case, so I’ll share the acoustic. Olivera is a Finnish artist that is very new to me but I am hoping to explore more of her music. By the way I had no idea that the name Olivera is used anywhere outside of countries like Serbia or Macedonia, would never think it’s used in Finland, that’s interesting. Not that it wouldn’t sound right in Finnish, it just somehow surprised me.

Song of the day (15th September) – Kaija Koo ft. Reino Nordin – “Paa Mut Cooleriin”.

Hi guys! 🙂

After sharing with you one song by Maija Vilkkumaa, I wanted to discover some more Finnish music, and listened to a lot of it. As a result, I thought I’d share with you another Finnish song, by another well-known female artist in Finland called Kaija Koo. Her style is a bit similar though she’s been around in the music industry for a decade or so longer and the feel of her music has been changing a lot over the years. This song is in collaboration with a Finnish actor and musician Reino Nordin. Sadly, I couldn’t find a reliable translation for this one, and am not even 100% sure what the title means, so that’s a little bit of a disappointment, but Finnish music is great anyway!

Maija Vilkkumaa – “Mä En Oo Sun Ainoo” (I’m Not Your Only One).

Hey people! 🙂

Time for something Finnish! I’ve been familiar with a lot of Finnish folk and some Finnish rock – at least the classic stuff, some metal and some modern bands like Haloo Helsinki – for quite a few years. But last year I’ve actually got a bit of a craving for Finnish music for a while and wanted to explore more of it. The problem was, it was that unfortunate time when I was without my laptop for a month so it was a little bit difficult to achieve. I managed to find an Internet radiostation though, called Radio Suomipop, where they broadcast almost only music (and ads, loads of them!) and only in Finnish, and only the most recent pop. So I could actually get quite a good glimpse of what was big in Finland at that time. The station was incredibly repetitive as is often the case with such things, but oh well, at least I had my Finnish music, I was fed up with it quite quickly, the best way to get rid of such a craving. Nevertheless, I came across some cool artists thanks to them, or – as was the case with Ms. Vilkkumaa – could hear some of the artists that I did hear about before but never felt like they were my style so hadn’t actually listened to their music at all before. I do like Maija Vilkkumaa, and some others that I thought I wouldn’t, even if I’m not in love with their music.

Maija Vilkkumaa has been well known in Finland since the late 90’s-early 2000’s, and while she can be heard frequently on Suomipop, her music is actually classified as something like poprock. The song I want to show you seems to be her newest one, unless I’ve missed something more recent, and it is this one that I heard at Radio Suomipop last autumn and was hearing approximately every 2 hours. 😀 But I haven’t listened to Radio Suomipop since then, I much prefer the luxury of choosing it myself what I want to listen to, so I’m no longer fed up with it, and I think it sounds quite nice. I am still wondering if I’m going to show you something from her older repertoire tomorrow or not, we shall see.

The good thing about Finnish language songs, at least those more popular ones, is that they usually seem to have English translation somewhere in the Internet, even if the lyrics are really bizarre, as is often the case with Finnish music and Finnish anything, they seem to like the bizarre and I like Finns for that. 😀 I wish it was like this with other “rare” languages too. I guess Finnish people also like to understand the lyrics in music more than many other nations, as in 20th century it was apparently a thing for them to create covers of English language hits in their own language, so perhaps they understand that other nations might also want to understand their lyrics. Anyway, thanks to this, I was able to find the translation of this song, so here it is:

 

What country would you be

Argentina for me

What instrument

Theremin

What song

Pistoolisankari

[(Pistol Hero) a song by a Finnish rock band called Dingo]

Which would you give up if you had to

Sex or booze

Oo oo oo but you don’t have to

You say don’t go yet, you don’t have to leave

Nothing’s waiting at home, except for mess and silence

Happy families play Afrikan tähti

[(Star Of Africa) a Finnish board game)]

Oo oo oo and there is no us

And I know I shouldn’t

I swore I wouldn’t stay

But I am the loneliest in the world

So I pour the glasses full of bubbly wooo

And it’s like a blanket on us

Yeah you always come and you always go and never stay wooo

I’m not your only one but I’m here now

I’m not your only one but I’m here

What film

Matrix

What crime

Well murder

But if you got caught and were in Texas

An electric chair it would be

Wishing for mercy but that would be in vain

Oo oo oo there is no mercy

And somewhere mothers take their children to day-care

One time I always did my best

Not now

Misguide me

And I pour the glasses full of bubbly wooo

And it’s like a blanket on us

Yeah you always come and you always go and never stay wooo

I’m not your only one but I’m here now

I’m not your only one but I’m here

And when I leave

I know that of course

You won’t be calling after me

And in the corner of the street I’m keying your car

But it doesn’t make it easier

So bye

And until the next time

And I pour the glasses full of bubbly wooo

And it’s like a blanket on us

Yeah you always come and you always go and never stay wooo

I’m not your only one but I’m here now

And I pour the glasses full of bubbly wooo

And it’s like a blanket on us

Yeah you always come and you always go and never stay wooo

I’m not your only one but I’m here now

I’m not your only one but I’m here

I’m not your only one but I’m here

Song of the day (9th January) – Poropetra “Luonnotar”.

The song for yesterday (as it’s well over 1 AM already here and I’m soon going to bed with Misha 😀 ) is by Finnish band called Poropetra, whom I got to know via my friend Jacek from Helsinki about whom I’ve written here multiple times already. He was a great fan of them and showed their music to me saying that “this is something perfectly for you”. At first I thought he was joking, I mean when I heard them, because in fact my first impression was that their music is… quite funny, like awkward, I don’t know how to put it really. I dont know, there’s still something funny about it for me. It just made me laugh back then and still does sometimes. But he was serious, and in time I realised that indeed I like them, despite that I thought they are funny, in a little weird way. Their songs also often regard various old Finnish deities and such (like this one), while I am Christian, but after consulting this with my Mum it seems to me that it’s not in such an invading way, and I guess there’s nothing wrong with their music from the Christian point of view. Why do I like them? Because they sound so weird, because the founder member of the band – Juha Jyrkäs – plays kantele (it’s such a Finnish harp, kind of, it’s called harp but as you can hear it sounds differently, more clangy) and does throat singing or overtone singing, because they sing in Finnish, because their music is a blend of two genres I like – folk and rock, – and probably I could also find something else as a reason why I like them, so you have to agree that’s a lot. This is my favourite song by them, although you won’t hear Jyrkäs’s throat singing here, maybe I’ll post something else from them another time so you can hear how weirdly wonderful it sounds, or you can look it up on your own if you’re very curious, and no, it’s not like Mongolian or Tibetan overtone singing. The group is apparently inspired by Siberian and Karelian music, and while I don’t have any idea about the above, I guess even I can see it because their music is very different from other Finnish folk/folk rock bands and has a different feel. As for Luonnotar, it’s a different name used in referrence to Ilmatar, and Ilmatar is Finnish virgin spirit of the air, mentioned frequently in Kalevala. Oh and Jacek told me that poropetra in Finnish means some type of elk, but I’m not sure if that’s true and reliable, although it should be haha. I’m curious what your impressions will be. 🙂

Song of the day (3rd October) – Iiris Viljanen ft. Isabel Neib – L”Ljuset Själv” (The Light Itself).

Recently I shared with you a song by Frida Andersson, who is a Swedish-speaking Finn, and I told you how I find Finnish accent cute and funny. Really, as much as I love to hear the proper Swedish from Stockholm, I absolutely enjoy hearing Finnish Swedish as well. There is just something so distinguishing about it that I like. So here’s another Swedish-speaking Finn from Österbotten – Iiris Viljanen. She used to be a member in a Finnish band Vasas Flora Och Faun, now she’s doing her solo career, besides from being a singer-songwriter, she’s also a pianist. This song she sings with Isabel Neib (she doesn’t seem to be Finnish), and I think they sound good together. Iiris also makes rap music, in her local dialect fromÖsterbotten, which sounds very interesting as well.

Frida Andersson – Jag Saknar Dej (I Miss You_.

This is a beautiful song in my opinion. I’ve translated the title as “I Miss You”, but in fact it is “I Lack You”, though I wasn’t sure if such phrase actually exists and is natural in English, it doesn’t look like it is. There even is a line in the song that “I don’t miss having you here any longer, but I lack you”, so I guess we should differentiate missing from lacking. So do Swedes, so do we Poles, and maybe the Anglophones do as well but I just don’t know. 😀 As for Frida Andersson, she is the moreinteresting for me that she is from Finland, and she is a Swedish native-speaker. For those of you who don’t know, yes, there is a Swedish-speaking minority in Finland, of people who speak Swedish as their first language, and Swedish is also another official language of Finland after Finnish, and also is teached in school as a second language, compulsory, I guess, and don’t worry if you didn’t know it and think you’re ignorant, because I – a Swedophile and Finnophile – didn’t know it until just like 2-3 years ago, I learned about it years after my fascination with the Swedish language started. That’s ignorance! 😀 And even my Dad – who is a very good geographer and taught me capitals of all the European countries and which currencies they have and other stuff – he was very surprised when I told him that. Finns are way too secretive. 😀 I say it’s interesting because Finnish accent in Swedish sounds very interesting. It’s actually cute and funny to me, doesn’t sound so serious, elegant and regal as Swedish in Stockholm for example. I like it, I like different words they have for things, like for example in standard Swedish the phrase a little bit is “lite”, but Finns often say “pikulite”. Or they have a word “pirrig”, which means jittery (or something like this 😀 ) and from what my teacher told me it’s used by Swedish-speaking Finns, though I’ve seen it used bo non Finns too.

Anyway, putting my Finnophilic musings aside, I was going to, and tried, to make translation of these lyrics, as they’re not very difficult to understand, but I find it rather tricky to translate stuff from Swedish to English or vice versa, so I left it, still though, the song is beautiful.

Cmx – “Tuulet Ja Myrskyt” (Winds And Storms).

Hi hi people! 🙂

Today I have a song in FInnish for you, from one of my favourite Finnish rock bands, CMX. Recently I shared with you a song by another Finnish rock band, Haloo Helsinki, CMX’s music is harder though, but this particular song is a rather light rock.

Here

is an English translation of the song.

Haloo Helsinki! ft. JVG – Texas.

Hi! 🙂

Finally, it’s time to put something in Finnish on here, as Finnish is one of my favourite languages. Finland has given us tons of fantastic rock bands, but the one I want to show you today, although is definitely well-known and successful in Finland, I believe is barely known outside of their home country. They’re really good and they’re called Haloo Helsinki! which means just hello Helsinki. I really like their vocalist – Elli Haloo (Elisa Tiikalainen).

The song I want to show you though is kinda rap-ish because it’s made in collaboration with another Finnish band – JVG – which is a rap band. I am not a huge fan of rap, unless it just speaks to me, but I do like to listen to foreign language rap sometimes, I mean in some really “out-there” languages, sometimes even those in which I don’t speak a single word like Greek or Hebrew, whatever, don’t know actually why I like doing it, but so it is. 😀 And I guess Finnish is also such a language for some, anyways you rarely hear it anywhere else than Finland, Sweden or Norway. So yeah I like this song a lot and I like the fact it’s rap-ish.

Song of the day – Alex Kunnari ft. Tim Hilberts – Wake Me Up.

Hi! 🙂

Today’s song really speaks to me. I found it on Spotify last year. Those of you who use Spotify probably know their Daily Mixes with music you like and some new stuff in the same vibe. So back then I was listening one of mine, which had mostly Norwegian electronica in it, as I listened to it a lot at that time. And then this song played and I was rather surprised. It wasn’t really my style musically. Well, honestly, it wasn’t my style at all. And after all Alex Kunnari doesn’t really sound very Norwegian, rather Finnish (well unless he’s from Finnmark), so I was wondering a bit why it landed here. But then I started to listen to the lyrics and it suddenly caught my full attention. Oh gosh, what is this guy singing about? It sounds like… pretty much like me. :O What there was “like me” was the fact that I could relate to this song with my night experiences, which as I know now is sleep paralysis, and false awakenings. But back then, although I’ve been struggling with these and other sleep sensations regularly as long as I can remember and was very frustrated every time it happened, I didn’t have the name for it, didn’t know anyone who had it and what even more frustrating, couldn’t quite describe to anyone the content of these dreams and how it felt to have it in general. And so I felt a bit comforted hearing this, as I felt like if there’s song about it, there must be someone else on Earth, even just one person, experiencing this in one way or another too. That didn’t change anything in the grand scheme of things, but at least lessened my feeling of inadequacy which I think is strong enough in other areas of my life. So I really like this song now. 🙂