Jori Hulkkonen and Karina nominated for Hyundai Nordic Music Prize

The 12 nominees for this year's Hyundai Nordic Music Prize have been announced. Finland's finalists are folky indie pop duo Karina's debut and acclaimed electronic artist Jori Hulkkonen's latest full-length.

Hyundai Nordic Music Prize is one of the most significant music awards in the Nordic region. The prize for the Best Nordic Album of 2018 will be announced on 28 February at the by:Larm Festival and Conference in Oslo, Norway. It is the only prize that celebrates musical talents across the entire Nordic region (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden).

Inspired by the UK’s Mercury Prize, the award was instigated in 2010 by by:Larm, the leading music industry festival held every year in Oslo, Norway. Last year the winner was Norwegian singer-songwriter Susanne Sundfør for her fifth album Music for People in Trouble.

The Nordic jury, comprising Audun Vinger (NO), Arnar Eggert Thoroddsen (IS), Ilkka Mattila (FI), Annah Björk (SE) and Anna Ullman (DK), have collectively prepared a shortlist of 12 nominees for this year’s Hyundai Nordic Music Prize. After the nominees have been selected, an international jury – consisting of Jeanette Lee (Rough Trade), Jude Rogers (The Guardian), Eric Deines (Jagjaguwar) and Stuart Maconie (BBC) to decide which one will end up as this year’s winner.

This year's complete Hyundai Nordic Music Prize shortlist is the following:

  • Astrid Sonne: Human Lines (Denmark)
  • Bisse: Tanmaurk (Denmark)
  • Soho RezenejadSix Archetypes (Denmark)
  • Jori HulkkonenSimple Music for Complicated People (Finland)
  • Karina: Karina (Finland)
  • GDRNHvað ef (Iceland)
  • GYDAEvolution (Iceland)
  • Lil Halima: Love Songs for Bad Lovers (Norway)
  • Marja MortenssonMojhtestasse (Norway)
  • Jenny WilsonExorcism (Sweden)
  • Robyn: Honey (Sweden)
  • Sarah KlangLove in the Milky Way (Sweden)

Listen to the Finnish nominees and read the jury's rationale below.


Jori Hulkkonen: Simple Music for Complicated People (My Favorite Robot)

"Jori Hulkkonen, originally from small northern town of Kemi next to Swedish border, has been a key figure in Finnish electronic music for more than 25 years. Jori was signed to Laurent Garnier’s F Communications label already in mid 90’s and he has recorded together with various artists like John Foxx, Tiga, José González and Chris Lowe of Pet Shop Boys. His musical style is mixed from various sources from early house music to experimental electronics and 1980’s synth pop. Simple Music for Complicated People is a wonderful dance record with vintage style beats and pop melodies, some of then sung by Jori himself, this time also in Finnish."

Karina: Karina (Playground)

"Karina is the debut album by Helsinki-based band led by singer and songwriter Karin Mäkiranta. They first got attention with lo-fi neo-folk songs in 2015 and came up finally with this more complex and matured music. Sweet harmonies of the songs can turn into gloomy and oppressive soundstorm and the lyrics tell you stories about everyday life but they also go deep into your mind and down to the edge of depression. Karina’s album has been one of the most acclaimed releases of 2018 in Finland.​"