Despite the lack of live concerts and festivals due to Covid-19 restrictions still effective in many parts of the world, new music is being released all the time – fortunately. Again, there is an impressive amount of Finnish albums to be released before the summer. Let's take a look at what’s new in Finnish pop, rock, indie, electronic, metal, jazz and folk in the first half of 2022!
Is the list missing an important album? Let us know and we’ll add it!
Lordi: "Lordiversity – Humanimals" (Out Jan 7th, AFM Records)
Lordi’s megalomanic “Lordiversity” project – seven physical albums released simultaneously as a box set on November last year – will see its final steps during the spring on streaming platforms. The Lordiversity albums all sound different from each other, representing separate fictional eras in the timeline first presented in Lordi’s “fictional compilation” album Killection (2020). Humanimals, the fifth installment of the entity, was released digitally on January 7th, and its AOR influenced, 80s tinged sound has been said to be influenced by Bon Jovi, Desmond Child and Alice Cooper.
ps. scroll down to find also the rest of the "Lordiversity" albums on this list!
TAL: "Sapiduz" (Out Jan 7th, Öm Sound)
TAL a.k.a. Tuomas A. Laitinen’s debut album “Sapiduz” has been called “a shapeshifting spectre containing traces of early music, mutated vocals, and granular electronic composition techniques.” The album’s sound relies on samples from vocalist Milla Mäkinen, which Laitinen commissioned to create compositional tools from. The music of Sapiduz has been described as “medieval music played on an interstellar journey, creating both absurd and chimeric combinations of sounds and moods”. Tuomas A. Laitinen is an artist who works with sound, glass, and video installation. The album is released on Öm-sound label, curated by Timo Kaukolampi, and distributed by Svart Records.
Ritva Nero: "Immortal Tradition" (Out Jan 14th, Bafes Factory)
Labeling their music as party folk metal, Ritva Nero combines soprano saxophone, Finnish bagpipes and nyckelharpa with bass and drums resulting in a mix of folk music and metal tradition. “Immortal Tradition”, the band's debut album released in January 2022 is a collection of dances from the 1800’s Finnish and Northern Karelian regions facing explosive elements of today’s metal scene. The album has been reviewed as a fascinating, modern and fresh take on folk metal music that manages to showcase both genres equally.
Battle Beast: "Circus of Doom" (Out Jan 21st, Nuclear Blast)
While there has been a three-year gap between Battle Beast’s previous album “No More Hollywood Endings” and their 6th record “Circus of Doom”, the band has been busy – even with covid-19 messing up the band’s touring plans. Still, vocalist Noora Louhimo has had time to make two records last year: the debut of her solo project Noora Louhimo Experience as well as the first full-length by Laurenne/Louhimo, her duo with Netta Laurenne. After re-signing with their label Nuclear Blast in early 2021, the band is once again ready to unleash their force upon the world. A tour will follow the album release in spring of 2022, starting in Paris on February 15th – fingers crossed that this time everything will go as planned!
Listen to "Circus of Doom" on Apple Music or Spotify.
Hanging Garden: "Neither Moth Nor Rust" (Out Jan 21st, Lifeforce Records)
Masters of melancholic, bittersweet and slightly gothic metal, Hanging Garden celebrate their 18th birthday this year with a new ep release. Following their 7th album, last year’s “Skeleton Lake”, “Neither Moth Nor Rust” contains five brand new tracks and a reworking of the song “Field of Reeds” from the latest full-length.
Marko Nyberg: "Ingrid" ep (Out Jan 28th, El Camino)
Marko Nyberg, best known as the songwriter and producer in indie pop band Husky Rescue, released his long awaited debut solo ep Ingrid. The EP has been described as “neoclassical techno inspired by the pioneer of abstract art, Hilma af Klint” as well as "secret information composed as an arrhythmia, a postapocalyptic buzz, geometric shapes, and invisible beauty coaxed upfront by a string ensemble.". Nyberg’s upcoming live performances will combine video art and modern dance. Three of the ep:s five songs will be accompanied with music videos. The videos, together with the visual look of the EP, create a distinctive world around Nyberg’s music in which the listener can immerse their own meanings.
Listen to "Ingrid EP" on Apple Music or Spotify.
Lordi: ”Lordiversity – Abusement Park” (Out Jan 28th, AFM Records)
The second Lordi release for the year will include the band close to their most iconic sound: classic hard rock of the 1980’s. Set to the year 1984 on the band's imaginary timeline, and with influences such as Accept, W.A.S.P., Kiss, Twisted Sister and Scorpions, this one should really be a no-brainer for all Lordi enthusiasts!
Listen to ”Lordiversity – Abusement Park" on Apple Music or Spotify.
Kupla: “Mirage” (out January 28th, Kuplasound)
With over 1,5 million monthly listeners on Spotify, Kupla has gained a worldwide audience and become one of the superstars in the Finnish lo-fi hiphop scene. His background lays in classical piano and jazz, yet he describes himself to be open for new musical techniques and instruments. The upcoming 10-track album will feature the singles “The Past, The Present”, “Search for Tomorrow”, “What We Leave Behind” and “Sunrise To Sunset”, continuing to combine gentle piano tracks with chilled beats, occasionally spiced up with the sounds of an accordion.
UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra: ”Last Dance – New Music for Jazz Orchestra” (Out January 28th, Neuklang)
Consisting of some of the best jazz musicians in Finland, UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra moves from jazz and soul to classical music, mixing the old and new in surprising ways. The upcoming album “Last Dance – New Music for Jazz Orchestra” will be the first recording between the orchestra and their new conductor and artistic director Ed Partyka. Leaning on the rich harmonies and melancholic melodies composed by Partyka, the album will include vivid solos performed by Jaska Lukkarinen (drums), Kasperi Sarikoski (trombone), Ville Vannemaa (saxophone) and Seppo Kantonen (piano).
Listen to ”Last Dance – New Music for Jazz Orchestra” on Apple Music or Spotify.
Seremonia: "Neonlusifer" (Out Feb 4th, Svart Records)
Seremonia, which has been called ”Finland’s finest and eeriest heavy psych outfit” are ready and set to release their fifth full-length “Neonlusifer” after a six-year recording hiatus. The album is promised to offer a “highly addictive version of Seremonia’s trademark freak rock, opening a number of new doors of perception”. Expect hot fuzz riffs and catchy choruses with occasional free form psychedelic experiments, and even a folksy garage psych song.
Eeppi Ursin: "Speechless" (Out Feb 4th, self-released)
Singer-songwriter Eeppi Ursin, who is making her career in New York, will release her fourth solo album, “Speechless” in February. The record has been called “a juicy combination of soul, prog, singing, and singer-songwriter tradition”, and its two singles, Down and When It’s All Over have already gained a lot of interest.
Amorphis: "Halo" (Out Feb 11th, Atomic Fire)
Amorphis’ fourteenth studio album and the finale to the trilogy of "Under The Red Cloud" (2015) and “Queen Of Time" (2018), "Halo” will see the light of day in February. The pioneers of melancholic progressive metal have again visited Finland’s national epic Kalevala for lyrical inspiration with the help of expert Pekka Kainulainen, who translated archaic Finnish poetry into English and adapted it the Amorphis’ progressive rhythms. The album is produced by Jens Bogren and is promised to be "thoroughly recognizable Amorphis from beginning to end” but with a little bit heavier and more progressive general atmosphere and also organic compared to its predecessor.
Ilmiliekki Quartet: "Ilmiliekki Quartet" (Out Feb 11th, We Jazz Records)
For nearly two decades, jazz act Ilmiliekki Quartet has been developing their own, deep sound. Known for their expressive playing, Ilmiliekki Quartet’s music has a song-like, melodic dimension, pairing naturally with their search for new musical landscapes. The new album, which carries the name of the band is an entity of ambient contemporary jazz including compositions from each band member. Once again Ilmiliekki Quartet has also added one borrowed tune to the set, this time it will be Aila originally made by Finnish dream pop group Karina.
Lordi: ”Lordiversity – Spooky Sextravaganza Spectacular” (Out Feb 11th, AFM Records)
The third Lordi release of the year (and fifth altogether from the "Lordiversity" package) sees the band leaving of their comfort zone: exploring the 1990s industrial metal sound – and the year 1995 to be exact. Niki Westerback from Barbe-Q-Barbies guests as a backing vocalist here.
Lordi: ”Lordiversity – Skelectric Dinosaur” (Out Feb 15th, AFM Records)
Well February sure is Christmas for Lordi fans, isn't it. Second new (digital) Lordi album for the same week with one more to go! This time, the style will will be classic rock and the clocks are set to the year 1975.
Lordi: ”Lordiversity – Masterbeast From The Moon” (Out Feb 18th, AFM Records)
Another day, another Lordi album, right? Well, this actually might not be just another Lordi album, since the thematic year is 1981 and the style is progressive rock! With titles like "Church Of Succubus", the prog-rocking Lordi sure is something to look forward to (unless you of course already bought the box set when it was released in November last year). The album is promised to be really melodic and feature extended use of keyboards, so what's not to like!
Joona Toivanen Trio: "Both Only" (Out Feb 25th, We Jazz Records)
Joona Toivanen Trio, formed in 1997, plays elegant music drawing inspiration from Finnish nature and folklore. Their music combines melancholic, Nordic sound with brave, talented improvisation. On “Both Only” the trio showcases a new sound for the band, trekking deep into the new ideas of acoustic jazz piano. Whilst moody and even dark from time to time, the album manages to provide feelings of hope towards the end.
Hebosagil: "Yössä" (Out February 25th, Svart Records)
Hebosagil is a band based in Oulu, Northern Finland, whose claim to fame has been the rather amusing genre tag “New Wave of Finnish Suomi Rock” (Suomi being the local word for “Finland”). But like they say, it’s funny ‘cos it’s true – there is a truth to all the best jokes: in Hebosagil’s output the grand tradition of domestic Finnish rock, punishing sludge, punk and other forms of extreme metal and noise rock are woven together. Their upcoming fifth album ”Yössä” is promised to show Hebosagil move from one style to another with the finesse of a seasoned professional, as the album’s moods range from fragile moments of clarity to the gloomiest chords heard from the band to date. The band’s Finnish lyrics deal largely with the transitive nature of mundane glory.
Sylvain Rifflet with Verneri Pohjola: "Cake Walk from a Spaceship" (Out Feb 25th, Eclipse Records)
One of Finland’s most established jazz players, trumpeter and composer Verneri Pohjola is known for his unique warm sound and expressive improvising. His music has been described as a "perfect balance between structure and freedom". After the release of his awarded debut album "Aurora" (2009), Pohjola has been a distinguished part of the European Jazz scene. The upcoming album “Cake Walk from a Spaceship” will be a collaboration with French saxophonist Sylvain Rifflet. The album combines Pohjola’s expressiveness with Rifflet’s unique sound into a seamless entity.
Babel: "Yoga Horror" (Out March 4th on PME Records)
Babel is an indie pop duo consisting of Karin Mäkiranta, the other half of dream pop darlings Karina and Mikko Pykäri, who rose to prominence as a musician, songwriter and producer in the now defunct indie outfit Regina. Babel was formed when the two members collaborated on Pykäri’s sophomore solo album O in 2019, and they did not waste time: the band’s debut ep “Forever” was out the next year, followed by 2021’s “Honeyspell”. Babel’s first full-length "Yoga Horror" is promised to showcase the best sides of the duo: the hazy and caressing dream pop aesthetics, Mäkiranta’s ethereally hovering vocal melodies, the leisurely tapping drum machines, organ sounds, and the indie guitar tones from decades gone by.
As I May: "Karu" (Out March 3rd, Uprising Records)
Melodic metallers As I May combine modern elements in their music, still keeping focus on the heavier sound. Since their European tour was cancelled due to Covid-19, As I May spent their lockdown time composing and recording their upcoming album “Karu”. The record will take the band’s music towards a more in-your-face direction with Nu Metal influences. The upcoming album's first single releases have been praised as songs full of energy with catchy melodies.
Tapani Rinne & Juha Mäki-Patola: "Open" (Out March 11th, Hush Hush Records)
“Open” is the very first collaboration between long-term musicians Tapani Rinne and Juha Mäki-Patola. Composed during the pandemic in spring 2021, “Open” blends Rinnes rich saxophone and clarinet melodies with Mäki-Patola’s complimentary guitar, piano, organ and synthesizer compositions. The album is a fresh mix of ambient and neo-classical jazz creating a hypnotic collaborative debut and a new shade to both artists’ repertoire.
Von Hertzen Brothers: “Red Alert in the Blue Forest” (Out March 18th, DoingBeingMusic)
Formed by three brothers Kie, Mikko and Jonne Von Hertzen, the progressive rock act Von Hertzen Brothers plays nuanced, uplifting rock music with rich vocal harmonies. Since the release of their second studio album “Approach” in 2006, they’ve topped the Finnish charts and been awarded with EMMA award and toured extensively in the UK and Finland. After a five-year break, Von Hertzen Brothers is about release their next full-length album “Red Alert in the Blue Forest”. Painting pictures of the phenomena of our time such as love and ecological crisis, the album's tracks will be completed by the playing of Sami Kuoppamäki on drums and Robert Engstrand on keyboards.
Maxxxtet: ”Chapter 3”(out March 25th, We Jazz Records)
Maxxxtet is a quartet led by saxophonist Max Zenger playing open-minded and playful, yet melancholic jazz. The group relies on Zenger’s compositions, influenced by his past experiences and encounters and brought to life by each member’s unique interpretation. Quite fittingly the band's playing has been described as bold improvisation. Following “Chapter 1” (2016) and “Chapter 2” (2017), Maxxxtet's new album will continue to tell real and unreal stories combined with the quartet's original sound.
Listen to "Chapter 3" on Apple Music or Spotify.
Reckless Love: "Turborider" (Out Feb 25th, AFM Records)
After a five-year recording break, glam rockers Reckless Love are making a comeback with their sixth album "Turborider”. According to the band, the new album and its first single release Outrun will be their reincarnation and introduce a whole new shade to their music. “Turborider” is a deep dive into an 80s video game and movie world with a new style influenced by the modern sounds of synthwave. Note: Reckless Love's album release has been postponed a month from its original release date (25th Feb).
World Without: "Bleeding" ep (Out 1st April, Haiku Approves Music)
Combining modern metal, thrashy pop and hardcore vocals, World Without is a fresh newcomer on the Finnish metal scene. With backgrounds in many popular metal bands (including drummer Rolf Pilve, best known from Stratovarius), the new outfit's debut EP “Light” was released in 2021. The upcoming EP “Bleeding” will continue the journey of the debut involving raw, melodic sound twisted with pop hooks. The first single release from the album, Walls introduces a faster side of the band with its relentless drum track.
NYOS: “Celebration” (Out April 8th, Pelagic Records)
The instrumental duo NYOS, formed by guitarist Tom Brooke and drummer Tuomas Kainulainen, plays noisy guitar loops over inimitable grooves. They have toured with diverse acts such as Zeal & Ardor and Esben & The Witch. Their upcoming album “Celebration” as the title suggests, will be a joyful, loud and festive affair combining danceable grooves with yearning electric guitars. The material being mainly written before the pandemic, the album will also be a reflection of life before covid19.
Ilkka Arola Sound Tagine: “Blue and Golden” (out April 22nd, We Jazz Records)
Consisting of musicians representing different genres, Ilkka Arola Sound Tagine's music is a mixture of folk and jazz elements spiced up with modern beats and cinematic soundscapes –especially influenced by Middle East. The group plays together seamlessly relying on strong improvisation. The upcoming “Blue and Golden” will be the second album release from this groovy and adventurous ensemble.
Ada Aik: "The Mysterious Life of Ada Aik" (Out April 29th, PME Records)
Experimental pop newcomer Ada Aik is better known as Karin Mäkiranta of the bands Karina and Babel, who is now embarking on a solo career. With her own music, Ada Aik moves to the extremes of fantasy and realism. Recorded on a summer cottage with her grandmother, Ada Aik’s music has been influenced by artists such as Julia Holter, Julianna Barwick and Yaeji.
May – June and TBC
I Am The Night: "While the Gods Are Sleeping" (Out May 6th, Svart Records)
I Am The Night is a new band featuring Finnish metal scene legends. Brought forth by underground titans of Finnish metal, Markus Vanhala (Insomnium, Omnium Gatherum), Janne Markkanen (ex-Omnium Gatherum), Okko Solanterä and Walteri Väyrynen (Paradise Lost, Bodom After Midnight), the band’s origins date back to the dimly lit subterranean rehearsal rooms of the mid-nineties where the fires of Vanhala and Markkanen’s black metal zeal were ignited. The extreme metal supergroup, who have already been called “an instant classic band with a timeless sound” released their debut EP last summer. I Am The Night say that they are “a real band not a project. It is unrestrained creation. A ray of darkness for us in the vacuum created by the pandemic”.
Mary Ann Hawkins: s/t (Out May 20th, Svart Records)
Finland may not be known for its big waves or dashing surf spots, but that doesn’t mean there can’t be a surfing group in the country! Despite its name, Mary Ann Hawkins is an all-male quintet, riding the mighty new wave of Finnish Surf Rock but also equally comfortable surfing the arid spaghetti western desert as well as the thousand lakes of Finland. In recent years, the band has performed all over Europe and strengthened its position as a new surf-rock phenomenon. Now it’s time for these sweaty but impeccably dressed young men to present their debut album: twelve tunes ranging from cinematic to dangerously rocking, but always keeping the surf spirit.
AHO: Odyssey (Release date TBC/2022, PME Records)
After the EP “Usually I'd Overthink This” and debut full-length “Nowinter Nosummer”, AHO a.k.a. Matti Ahopelto prepares to release his sophomore album this spring. This time, Japanese music, e.g. Hiroshi Yoshimura’s soundscapes and Ryūichi Sakamoto’s film music have influenced AHO and inspired him to make more experimental and organic music. AHO's beautiful and unhurried sound has also been recognized by the fashion industry, as the producer's stylish ambient was heard in the autumn campaign of Calvin Klein. The upcoming album will feature e.g. Spencer Krug (Wolf Parade) on the lead single Naive Naive, as well as Karina, who also featured on AHO’s previous album.
DANTCHEV:DOMAIN: The Lions We Are (Out June 1st, Glomama Music)
Leaning on the compositions of Finnish-Bulgarian singer-songwriter Anna Dantchev, Dantchev:Domain moves in the midst of traditional Bulgarian music aesthetics as well as jazz and blues. The band’s debut album “Say It” was rewarded as the Finnish Folk Album of the year. On their upcoming album, DANTCHEV:DOMAIN’s music is influenced by the migrant stories of Anna’s family as well as the feeling of loneliness experienced during the pandemic, with the the main theme being courage.