New and upcoming albums for winter and spring 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic may have unfortunately put a halt on concerts and festivals, but it hasn’t certainly stopped musicians from making new music. There is quite the list of great Finnish albums to be released before summer comes – we take a look at what’s new in Finnish pop, rock, indie, electronic, metal, jazz and folk in the first half of 2021!

Is the list missing an important album? Let us know and we’ll add it!

January:

Otra: Sytelee (out January 1st, Otra)

"Not every band makes you cry with emotion and then dance the polka – within a single track, no less – but Otra manage just this! On their second album, Sytelee (self-published 2020), Otra appear in a five-member lineup, having added a double bass to their scintillating folk chamber music ensemble of plucked instruments, violin and harmonium. Also, the members engage in professionally competent ensemble singing led by Maarit Saarenkunnas with a voice sparkling with thousands of tears." (Excerpt from FMQ Magazine review)
Listen to the album on Spotify.

NEØV: Picture of a Good Life (out January 15th, Clouds Hill Records)

The brothers Neuvonen’s long-running indie rock group mixes their melodic shoegaze with delicate dreampop, getting better and more refined with each album. In the Finnish media, the band’s fourth album “Picture of a Good Life”, recorded in Hamburg, has already been called the band’s greatest effort so far.
Listen to the album on Spotify.

Timo Kaukolampi & Tuomo Puranen: White Wall (Original Soundtrack) (out January 15th, Svart Records)

The musical masterminds behind K-X-P, Op:l Bastards and countless other projects (including recent musical scores for the films Maria’s Paradise and Euthanizer) composed and performed the score music for White Wall, a Finnish-Swedish scifi mystery television drama.
Read our feature article on Timo Kaukolampi here.
Listen to the album on Spotify.

Tuuletar: Vetten vuoro / Turn of the Tide (Out January 15th, Bafe’s Factory Records)

After touring their sophomore album “Rajatila / Borderline” (2019), the ‘Nordic Folk Hop’ foursome found themselves – just like everyone – physically isolated from the world. This new three track EP is the band’s attempt to “musically capture the tranquilising and empowering support that (human) nature provides us during the times of change.”
Read our feature article on Tuuletar here.
Listen to the album on Spotify.

Suad: Waves (out January 22nd, Svart Records)

Suad is a Helsinki-based artist with a soft voice and years of experience in recording and performing. Her voice has earlier been heard in Uusi Fantasia’s album ”Top Ten” and in various co-operations with Jaakko Eino Kalevi. Suad's debut album “Waves” is a journey beginning from dark and moody pop songs and moving to brooding piano ballads to indie rock anthems, with lyrical themes revolving around her self-doubt and fears.
Read our feature article on Suad here.
Listen to the album on Spotify.

Marjo Smolander: Cosmologies (Out January 27th, Marjo Smolander)

"The debut album of kantele player and singer-songwriter Marjo Smolander is an interesting combination of different musical collaborations. The connecting thought is her singing and her personal songs, and you can feel musical ingredients both from her home region Carelia (the vocals sounding almost Värttinä-like) and from Africa, especially Mali and Senegal, where she has studied at several occasions." (Excerpt from FMQ Magazine review.)
Listen to the album on Spotify.

Trio Peltomaa Fraanje Perkola: ÆR (Out January 22nd, Outhere Music)

Trio Peltomaa Fraanje Perkola combines the sounds of the human voice, piano and viola da gamba with electronic effects and medieval harp. The players have diverse backgrounds in early music, jazz, Finnish folk music and contemporary music, although it was medieval music that was the inspiration for their highly personal and recognisable sound. The group continues to explore the chants of Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179), Pérotin (1160-1230) and 14th-century pilgrimage songs.
Listen to the album on Spotify.

Timo Kämäräinen: Blink and You Miss It (Out January 29th, Eclipse Music)

The debut solo album from experienced guitarist Timo Kämäräinen (known from bands like TOOT TOOT, Ellips and Ismo Alanko Säätiö) consists of beautifully crafted, almost ambient-like instrumental pieces based on free improvisation, forming a concept work of “life and humanity”.
Listen to the album on Spotify.

Susanna Aleksandra: The Siren (Out January 29th, Eclipse Music)

Estonian born jazz vocalist and songwriter Susanna Aleksandra is a real world citizen whose career has taken her around the world, from Paris to Los Angeles before settling in Helsinki. In the Finnish jazz scene, she has worked with major Finnish jazz composers like Jukka Eskola, Teemu Viinikainen and Riitta Paakki. Her new album “The Siren” has been completed with pianist Joonas Haavisto handling the producing duties. The album is collection of original compositions, folk songs and standards, which exudes elegance, charm and a strong respect for the tradition of jazz.
Listen to the album on Spotify.

February:

New Ro: Late Bloomer (out February 5th, Solina Records)

Known for her vocal skills, empowering lyrics and colorful personality, electro pop artist New Ro (formerly known as Ronya) is set for a new start. Since 2019, she has gravitated towards writing and producing solo and creating a unique sound – mixing modern pop with r&b influences and nostalgia from three or four decades back. With its infectious rhythms, killer hooks and catchy melodies, “Late Bloomer”, her debut album as New Ro is promised to “show us a fully realised version of this cheeky songstress in a compelling and relatable package.”
Listen to the album on Spotify.

Korpiklaani: Jylhä (Out February 5th, Nuclear Blast Records)

The kings of folk metal are out with “Jylhä”, a new album for 2021 – their 11th altogether and their first one with new drummer Samuli Mikkonen. Released on 5th February, the record sees Korpiklaani incorporating sounds like thrash metal, power metal and even reggae and ska. Lyrically it features themes like folklore, nature, celebration and three murder stories, including the Lake Bodom murders.
Listen to the album on Spotify.

Gájanas: Čihkkojuvvon / Hidden (Out February 6th, Bafe’s Factory)

Gájanas, which translates to “echo”, is a band coming from the northernmost part of Finland: Inari-Utsjoki and playing “Northern Sámi ethno-progressive music”. The band is fronted by Hildá Länsman, known from acts such as Vildá and Solju. In Gájanas’s music, echoes of Sámi tradition encounter present moment and form a colourful combination. One can also hear a dialog between the traditional and modern Sámi music and an emphasis to the strong nature connection of the Sámi people.
Listen to the album on Spotify.

Ánnámáret: Nieguid duovdagat (Out February 6th, Anna Näkkäläjärvi-Länsman)

Nieguid duovdagat (Dreamscapes) is the third album of Ánnámáret, a Sámi musician Anna Näkkäläjärvi-Länsman from Utsjoki whose music takes her audience to imaginary fells. The ensemble draws on both the rich yoik tradition as well as the nature and everyday life of Sámi, transporting the listener to another worlds.
Listen to the album on Spotify.

Poets of the Fall: Alexander Theatre Sessions (out February 19th, Insomniac Records)

Finland’s favorite pop rockers return with a live album of their most loved songs, recorded at Alexander Theatre (an old Russian theatre house in Helsinki, built in the late 19th century) . The new versions have been released as online videos during 2020, but this is the first time they are heard on an album.
Listen to the album on Spotify.

Kärtsy 4 Sale: Covers Himself And Others (Out February 19th, Stupido Records)

Relentless Waltari chief Kärtsy Hatakka does his solo (well almost solo, since original Waltari drummer Sale Suomalainen is also on board) troubadour thing for the first time on record! Half covers (some Nirvana, Prince, Depeche Mode, Coldplay and heck, even Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” are on the menu!) and half Kärtsy originals re-imagined, this is definitely something else, as they say!
Listen to the album on Spotify.

Timo Lassy & Teppo Mäkynen: Live Recordings 2019–2020 (Out February 19th, We Jazz Records)

The dynamic duo of tenor saxophonist Timo Lassy and drummer Teppo Mäkynen return with a double LP of live recordings captured in 2019 and 2020. The live release follows the duo's 2019 LP which was shortlisted for "Jazz Album Of the Year" at Gilles Peterson's Worldwide Awards. While the studio album versions were studies in improvisational brevity, the live album lets the long-time collaborators really let loose and build memorable sonic narratives around the compositions. The album is produced and edited by Teppo Mäkynen.
Listen to the album on Spotify.

Black Twig: Was Not Looking for Magic (Out February 26th, Soliti Music)

Helsinki four piece Black Twig started their 2021 in style with the singles "Big Cat" and "Devils Be Gone" their first new music in almost five years. The Helsinki based quartet follows the indie tradition of bands such as Galaxie 500, Yo La Tengo and Pavement, with the new songs also drawing comparisons to The Byrds and Teenage Fanclub. Was Not Looking for Magic, Black Twig’s fourth album will be released in late February.
Listen to the album on Spotify.

Stam1na: Novus Ordo Mundi (out February 26th, Sakara Records)

Progressive thrash metal quintet Stam1na is domestically one of the biggest bands in Finland’s metal scene (possibly due to their Finnish-sung vocals), but they are also known to spread their tours across Europe and Asia. "Novus Ordo Mundi" is the ninth album in Stam1na’s 16-year recording career.
Listen to the album on Spotify.

Elifantree: Hachi (Out February 26th, Eclipse Music)

Founded in 2007, Elifantree’s unique sound has evolved over the years around a sturdy body of vocals, saxophone and drums. The band's trademarks include elastic grooves, imaginative sound worlds and virtuoso improvisations. The trio's sixth album "Hachi" was an ambitious and large project in which sound artist Anni Elif, saxophonist Pauli Lyytinen and sound technician Joonas Saikkonen toured the world with a portable studio and recorded music in unconventional environments with eight international percussion artists: Terje Isungset (NO), Lisbeth Diers (DK), Marc Pell (UK), Julian Sartorius (CH), Yuko Oshima (FR) and Ryosuke Kiyasu (JP), Olavi Louhivuori (FI) and Andreas Werliin (SE).
Listen to the album on Spotify.

March:

Suistamon Sähkö: Varokaa! Hengenvaara! (Out March 5th, Kihtinäjärvi Records)

The energetic folktronica four-piece Suistamon Sähkö (Suistamo Electricity), inspired by Karelian villages, folk poetry, hip hop, toy instruments and manic dance moves, are releasing their third album “Varokaa! Hengenvaara!” which translates to “Beware! Mortal Danger!”. Suistamon Sähkö have said to a group of folk musicians making pop music – which is probably the reason why there’s always an element of folk music in Suistamon Sähkö’s music.
Read our feature interview with Suistamon Sähkö’s Eero Grundström here.

Noora Louhimo Experience: Eternal Wheel of Time and Space (out March 5th, Kapanen Productions / Ranka Kustannus).

Known as the singer of internationally famed metal act Battle Beast, Noora Louhimo will release her debut solo album on March. Instead of the catchy, 80s tinged pop metal that of her 'day job band', "Eternal Wheel of Time and Space” is promised to focus on soulful blues rock with even the occasional country influence. Louhimo’s backing band on the solo release includes musicians from i.e. Swallow The Sun and J. P. Leppäluoto’s band.

Pekka Laine: The Enchanted Guitar of Pekka Laine (Out 19th March, Svart Records)

Helsinki-based musician, songwriter, DJ and journalist Pekka Laine became famous as the driving force of The Hypnomen, a psychedelic surf band with a loyal cult following, Laine has explored the world of instrumental music since the 1990s. In his intrepid journeys from primitive noise art to the spheres of soulful psychedelia, he now creates music with an electric guitar, the cosmic echoes tying together the primal 1960's space sounds, dub music and weird film soundtracks to form one futuristic continuum.

April:

Temple Balls: Pyromide (Out April 16th, Frontiers Music Srl)

Hailing from the city of Oulu in middle-Finland, Temple Balls has gained a reputation as a high-spirited hard rock band that has toured extensively in Europe and Japan, warming up the stage for bands like Sonata Arctica, Queen, Deep Purple and Uriah Heep, among others. In Japan, readers of the music magazine Burrn! have voted second in the band's ‘Brightest Hope’ category. “Pyromide”, their debut for Frontiers Music Srl and third album overall, has been called “a tour-de-force of hooks, powerful rhythms, and anthemic rock ‘n roll like it was meant to be played.”. The record is produced by Jona Tee (H.E.A.T.).

The Flaming Sideburns: Silver Flames (Out April 23rd, Svart Records)

The Flaming Sideburns started out in Helsinki in 1995 and soon found themselves touring both sides of the Atlantic. Their early releases were compiled on “It’s Time to Testify” but it was the launch of “Hallelujah Rock’n’Rollah” that put the band on top of the early 2000s garage rock revival. After two more albums, “Sky Pilots” and “Keys to the Highway,” and hundreds of shows, the Flaming Sideburns found themselves inactive for the first time in their career in 2016. In 2018 the five original members — four Finns led by Argentine-born vocalist Eduardo Martinez — joined forces for a string of shows in The UK, Spain and The Nordics, which will be followed by the brand new album “Silver Flames”, out in late April.

May:


Cosmo Jones Beat Machine: Skeleton Elevator (Out May 7th, Svart Records)

Cosmo Jones Beat Machine has a history spanning over two decades, with five album releases, countless lineup changes and furious live appearances around Scandinavia and Europe that have brought the band a minor cult following. ”Skeleton Elevator” is their sixth album as well as their first in six years. The band’s trademark sound – compared to Captain Beefheart, The Fall and Funkadelic – is comprised of primitive but captivating rhythms and a terrifying racket, while vocalist Pharaoh Pirttikangas’ trademark raspy delivery has deepened over the years, weaving stories dug up from the Mississippi Delta in the pale moonlight and distilled through an eastern Finnish swamp.

Jess and The Ancient Ones: Vertigo (Out on May 21st, Svart Records)

The Savonian occult rock behemoth Jess and The Ancient Ones are back with a new album for 2021. Led by frontwoman Jess, the quintet’s brand of heavy guitar and organ-led swagger has progressed from the twin guitar metal blast of yesteryear to their very own take on soulful late sixties garage psychedelia. Following 2017’s “The Horse and Other Weird Tales”, Jess and The Ancient Ones’ fourth album is named “Vertigo”.

Perttula: Pajavasara / Forging Hammer (Date TBC, Bafe’s Factory Records)

PERTTULA’s (Toni Perttula) upcoming solo album "Pajavasara / Forging Hammer" is a uniquely handcrafted Finnish creation, containing strong folk music influences, dark soundscapes and primal rhythms. Accordionist and programmer Toni Perttula’s open-minded experimentation with diverse musical styles and genres has forged a path towards creating his own unique musical approach and identity.