We just spent an amazing weekend in Helsinki which involved plenty of walking on frozen lakes and sea. I’m not sure how you soundtrack that but I guess that Finnish bands and musicians would be a good place to start.
The problem is that Finland seems to produce a lot of metal bands, I don’t know why, but they do. Doom metal, Black metal, Gothic metal, Viking metal – I’m sure there are ‘big’ differences between them but I am not sure what they are and I can’t get very excited about any of them.
When I sat down and had a good think about it though, I realised that I actually know far more Finnish bands than I thought I did. There are a few of them sprinkled throughout this playlist but then there are plenty of other songs that just seem to fit with a weekend spent walking on frozen lakes and sea in the Finnish capital.
Unfinished Sympathy by Massive Attack
Almost three decades old but this song is a timeless masterpiece. Definitely one of Massive Attack’s finest moments, everything just fits. Shara Nelson’s vocal, the lyrics themselves, the tinkly percussion. Like Protection, Teardrop or so many other massive attack songs, it is best listened to in the dark, but it would also work walking across the ice…
Hazy Shade of Winter by Simon & Garfunkle
I had a really hard time deciding whether to include the Simon & Garfunkle original or the cover by The Bangles because it is just a brilliantly written song and both interpretations are great. I’m really not sure why this one won out in the end.
Pretty in Decadence by French Films
Finnish. Indie rock band. Difficult to search for on YouTube because you get lots of movies made in France (with or without subtitles). This song is from their debut EP back in 2010, it’s good.
On My Shoulders by The Dø
They are French/Finnish but that has got to be good enough for inclusion. There is also a quality that I can’t define but really like about Olivia Merilahti’s voice. The Dø are definitely worth a listen if you aren’t familiar with them.
Sound of Love by Husky Rescue
If Portishead were Finnish then they would be Husky Rescue, and they would still be beautiful.
Drain you by Nirvana
Standing on a metro train in Helsinki and watching two babies in buggies watching each other and wondering what they would say to each other if they had learned to speak yet made the first line of this song pop into my head and I still haven’t managed to get rid of it days later. I know that the ‘babies’ in the song are actually Kurt Cobain and Tobi Vail and not small children at all, but that really doesn’t matter.
Ievan Polkka by Loituma
A brief mood lightening interlude… I have absolutely no idea what this song is about, but if it doesn’t make you smile and maybe hum along then you are probably dead inside.
Rocking Stroll by The Lemonheads
Keeping vaguely in theme with Drain You, or at least if that was actually about babies, Evan Dando’s idea of what the world looks like from the point of view of a baby taken out on a walk.
Kitchen by The Lemonheads
Because all Lemonheads tracks are so short, and because It’s a Shame About Ray is so full of bloody excellent tunes, it’s difficult to listen to just one and stop, so here’s another.
Freestyler by Bomfunk MC’s
I’ve loved this song for a long time but only realised really recently that Bomfunk MC’s are Finnish.
The video is pretty interesting, it kind of speaks of a time in transition from an analogue to a digital world and where owning an MP3 player was a rarity and made you cool and powerful (if only in your own mind).
Hard Rock Hallelujah by Lordi
We said no metal, but this is apparently ‘hard rock’ and it is the only time that Finland has won the Eurovision song contest. Some people, myself included, might not think that counts for much but Eurovision did get 204 million viewers last year…