Best Albums of 2015
selected by Erkko Lehtinen

Pekko Käppi & K:H:H:L <BR>“Sanguis Meus, Mama!”

Pekko Käppi & K:H:H:L
“Sanguis Meus, Mama!”

Maestro of Finnish-Karelian ancient instrument jouhikko, Pekko Käppi has been dusting off the traditional sound in various instances.

On his first band-led solo album album he carries the bowed lyre to an alternate dimension where Karelia is, instead of Eastern Finland, somewhere in the murky swamps of Mississippi.

Dark themes and rich textures join the dots between the far fetched traditionals in a surprisingly effective way.

♪♫ Listen: “Mun vereni

Pekko Käppi on Facebook, www.

Jori Hulkkonen <BR>“Oh But I Am”

Jori Hulkkonen
“Oh But I Am”

Finland’s most prolific electronic music producer, known as a relentless house/techno DJ and from the synth pop duos Villa Nah and Sin Cos Tan, Jori Hulkkonen puts on his different hats all at once.

Pumping house grooves, melancholic synth pop melodies, brooding 80s sounds, a touch of Italo disco, it’s all here, topped with Jori himself handling the vocal duties this time, with a subtle nod to the outsider electro pop of John Maus et al.

♪♫ Listen: “Italian Love Affair

Jori Hulkkonen on Soundcloud, Facebook, www.

Hopeajärvi <BR>“Hopeajärvi”


Loud, abrasive songs about the blight of urban life – sure, we’ve been here before, but Hopeajärvi (“silver lake”, connection to the LA hipster neighborhood unlikely) won’t let down their forebearers.

One of the most interesting groups in Finnish alternative rock since ages, the legacy of the legendary art-punk group Radiopuhelimet is in good hands. 

♪♫ Listen: “Älä Saatana

Hopeajärvi on Soundcloud, Facebook.

Have You Ever Seen The Jane Fonda Aerobic VHS? <BR>“Teenage Sweetheart”

Have You Ever Seen The Jane Fonda Aerobic VHS?
“Teenage Sweetheart”

Contestant for the silliest band name in the Northern Hemisphere, the guitarless trio fuels their infectious punk-pop mostly with just drums, organ, vocals and a pure, youthful energy.

Hailing from Kouvola, a bleak place just a little closer to the Russian border than to Helsinki, they reinforce the city’s reputation as a punk rock capital of the nation.

♪♫ Listen: “Family Man

Have You Ever Seen The Jane Fonda Aerobic VHS? on Soundcloud, Facebook.

Paperi T  <BR>“Malarian Pelko”

Paperi T
“Malarian Pelko”

The Finnish rap phenomenon of the year, Paperi T won everybody’s hearts with his solo debut, “Malarian Pelko”.

From teenagers to housewives, young dudes to middle aged men, his lines fusing heartbreak with clever references were met with equal enthusiasm, taking him to the top of the charts and performing for huge audiences.

The beats are top notch too, of course. 

♪♫ Listen: “Sä jätät jäljen

Paperi T on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube.

Death Hawks <BR>“Sun Future Moon”

Death Hawks
“Sun Future Moon”

Psych-rockers Death Hawks have been honing their skills for a three solid albums already, yet the latest finds them truly masters of their craft, like switching from a tube television to a 70mm widescreen.

Transcending mere traditionalism, their rich, intoxicating mix of psychedelic rock, Tangerine Dream synthscapes and folk mysticism is something of their own.

♪♫ Listen: “Behind Thyme

Death Hawks on Soundcloud, Facebook, www.

Femme En Fourrure <BR>“Smell” EP

Femme En Fourrure
“Smell” EP

The duo made of Juuso Malin and Sandra Tervonen have been busy working with rapper Paperi T, but found time for a solid EP of their own as well.

Dark electronic pop leaning towards witch house, it’s the ice cold melodies that catch your ear, but the strong beats and basslines are a dead giveaway about the project’s past as a bass-heavy house act.

♪♫ Listen: “Smell

Femme En Fourrure on Soundcloud, Facebook, www.

Jukka ja Jytämimmit <BR>“Jytää vaan”

Jukka ja Jytämimmit
“Jytää vaan”

“Jytä” means boogie (rock) and getting down, all you need to know. Pure rock’n’roll for getting drunk on the backseat of a 70s Nissan Datsun, while speeding to the center of the village to cause havoc.

In fact, the frontman Jukka Nousiainen, also noted for his solo work and the band Räjäyttäjät, together with his fierce female companions raced for with such a force that the trio broke up after only a handful of shows. What a shame.

♪♫ Listen: “Jytäkesä 015

Jukka ja Jytämimmit on Facebook.

View <BR>“Avalon” EP

“Avalon” EP

Seemingly out of nowhere appears the alt rapper View, in grainy black and white and clouded in a thick smoke, with a string of bona fide triumphs.

2015 marked an impressive start for the 23-year old Helsinki-based rapper with three consecutive self-released singles reaching the playlist on the YleX National Radio. This debut EP compiles the slick, moody tracks. 

♪♫ Listen: “Lace” ft. LCMDF

View on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter.

Long-Sam <BR>“Elephant”


The best kept secret of Finnish indie music, long time Jaakko Eino Kalevi collaborator Long-Sam delivers a subtle yet powerful album of electronic pop.

Combining delicate vocals and guitar with pristine electronics, the seasoned Helsinki indie scene figure reaches new heights in an effortless manner.

This is something that truly deserves a wider audience.

♪♫ Listen: “Twilight

Long-Sam on Soundcloud, Facebook, www.

K-X-P <BR>“III Part I”

“III Part I”

Hood-clad apostols of hypnotic, ritualistic electronic rock led by scene veteran Timo Kaukolampi, K-X-P cooks a potion of motorik Krautrock beats, goth-tinged vocals and glam-influenced anthems.

Proclaiming themselves an “anti band”, the X has marked a rotating cast of drummers, with often two experts battering simultaneously.

As the record title implies, they’ve been around for a while and they’re far from finished.

♪♫ Listen: “Space Precious Time

K-X-P on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, www.

Jaakko Eino Kalevi <BR>“Jaakko Eino Kalevi”

Jaakko Eino Kalevi
“Jaakko Eino Kalevi”

Finland’s most beloved indie export of recent times gets a polished and refined makeover on his first international release on Domino sublabel Weird World, while not losing an inch of his original charm.

Eccentric disco, outsider AOR and weirdo lounge with a distinctive retro yet timeless feel, check this out if you’re into Blood Orange et al. – just don’t mention Kindness’ hair to him.

♪♫ Listen: “Deeper Shadows

Jaakko Eino Kalevi on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, www.