Wednesday, July 23, 2014

RuoTo: Talvenselkä

Back to reviews and straight away out of my comfort zone, this is the first record that has been sent to me specifically for the purpose of being reviewed and it represents a genre that I am mostly not familiar with.

The first thing that comes to my mind, however, when listening to this album, is "why is that? This is some good stuff!" I mean, I can hear echoes of Pekka Streng, Kuusumun Profeetta, Rättö & Lehtisalo and Kuollut Etana in this, but beyond that I'm not sure how to classify this. Indie-alternative-rock-ish, maybe? In any case, I'm loving it.

With repeated listens, I was drawn into the hypnotic production that rather sounds like the band was playing right in front of you. The vocals, that admittedly sounded a bit grating for about 4 seconds on the first listen, started to sound like the most natural thing in the world. Especially at certain points where a line is repeated many times, I can picture myself sitting by a fire in a dark forest listening to these guys playing. Also, I think it says something about the catchiness of these tunes that I was already singing along on the second listen.

Now, a big allure of the album, for me, is the lyrics, delivered clearly and written well – in Finnish. I don't know how many of you readers (if there, indeed are any readers) are Finns – I assume most of you – but if you don't understand Finnish, you might lose a great deal of the experience (then again, your mileage may vary). However, Finnish is a fun language to know.

To sum up, here's a small band I wish would get bigger. They probably will never reach mainstream success, but a modicum of indie success would certainly be in order. At least enough for them to descend from their native northern Finland among us southern folk and play live (and not bankrupt themselves doing it).

Listen to Talvenselkä on spotify: RuoTo – Talvenselkä
Or on their Bandcamp page: