Best Albums of 2016
selected by Erkko Lehtinen

Mikko Joensuu <BR>“Amen 1”

Mikko Joensuu
“Amen 1”

After the breakup of his band Joensuu 1685, Mikko Joensuu had a long way to go. Some five years of playing small shows and quietly perfecting his craft lead to a solo debut of epic proportions.

The first of three parts, “Amen 1” is a solid singer-songwriter album showcasing his folk and country leanings.

♪♫ Listen: “Warning Sign” + album stream (Spotify)

Mikko Joensuu on Facebook, Instagram, www + beehype.

Radiopuhelimet <BR>“Saastan kaipuu”

“Saastan kaipuu”

Titans of Finnish underground rock, Radiopuhelimet have been around for 30 years, never losing a bit of their powers, which is an amazing feat.

Their latest punches one in the face with the familiar concoction of piercing riffs and irresistible punk-funk grooves.

♪♫ Listen: “Harmaata” + album stream (Spotify)

Radiopuhelimet on Facebook, www.

Räjäyttäjät <BR>“Räjä Elektrik Millenium”

“Räjä Elektrik Millenium”

Rootsy garage rockers known for their chaos-inducing gigs making a tongue-in-cheek electronic album? Sounds like a recipe for disaster and it is admittedly silly, but somehow it works.

“Räjä Elektrik Millenium” is 22 songs in lenght and packed with obscure localized references like a hobo’s fever dream.

♪♫ Listen: “Missä olet Rapa-Eini” + album stream (Soundcloud)

Räjäyttäjät on Facebook, www.

The Hearing <BR>“Adrian”

The Hearing

Ringa Manner has been the go-to guest singer for some of the best Finnish indie music lately.

Still, her solo project The Hearing is the real gem here, pairing her emotive voice with sophisticated electronics, as represented on her delightful second album.

♪♫ Listen: “Backwards” + album stream (Spotify)

The Hearing on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Soundcloud + beehype.

Litku Klemetti & Tuntematon Numero “Horror ‘15”

Litku Klemetti & Tuntematon Numero “Horror ‘15”

The group led by frontwoman Sanna “Litku” Klemetti emerged as one of the most genuinely exhilarating new bands of 2016.

Taking cues from classic rock and schlager, on “Horror ‘15” they fuse their fleamarket garage rock with DIY punk attitude. Fittingly their format of choice is cassette.

♪♫ Listen: “Badding” + album stream (Bandcamp)

Litku Klemetti & Tuntematon Numero on Bandcamp, Facebook.

Eevil Stöö <BR>“Iso vauva Jeesus”

Eevil Stöö
“Iso vauva Jeesus”

Balaclava-clad Eevil Stöö is like Memphis rap imagined by a 12 year kid at a mall in suburban east Helsinki, threading the line between parody and perfection.

His seventh album “Iso vauva Jeesus” is his best yet, combining dark, sparse beats with poker-faced rhymes about the character’s uncanny life.

♪♫ Listen: “Tyyppaa viel” + album stream (Spotify)

Eevil Stöö on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

Oranssi Pazuzu <BR>“Värähtelijä”

Oranssi Pazuzu

Oranssi Pazuzu was named one of the “10 scariest metal bands” by LA Weekly. While this seems laughable for a Nordic person used to the darkness, maybe one should indeed be a little afraid of their ability to build upon black metal and create a world of their own.

Their fourth album “Värähtelijä” is a 69-minute monster adding elements from jazz to stoner to Krautrock and beyond.

♪♫ Listen: “Lahja” + album stream (Bandcamp)

Oranssi Pazuzu on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter.

Jukka Nousiainen <BR>“Jukka Nousiainen”

Jukka Nousiainen
“Jukka Nousiainen”

Jukka Nousiainen, also known from Räjäyttäjät, continues walking his own path, veering from rock’n’roll towards classic romantic Finnish schlager.

Like in the best Aki Kaurismäki films, he invokes a peculiar feeling of nostalgia not connected to a specific time and place.

♪♫ Listen: “Sun kanssas mä lähden minne vaan

Jukka Nousiainen on Facebook, www.

ALMA <BR>“Dye My Hair” EP

“Dye My Hair” EP

Alma burst into the scene with a quirky, cool charisma and not less than three solid pop hits, of which two are included in this EP.

Just as recognizable for her neon-coloured hair as for her strong voice, she’s the international pop phenomenon in Finland of the moment.

♪♫ Listen: “Karma” + album stream (Spotify)

Alma on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube + beehype.

Mikko Joensuu <BR>“Amen 2”

Mikko Joensuu
“Amen 2”

Second offering last year from Helsinki-based Mikko Joensuu’s even tops the first one, “Amen 1”, adding layers and dynamics to his country-folk landscape.

The album, titled simply “Amen 2”, is suitably grand, in the epic way of bands like Spiritualized or Spacemen 3. And there will still be a one more part.

♪♫ Listen: “There Used To Be A Darkness” + album stream (Bandcamp)

Mikko Joensuu on Facebook, Instagram, Bandcampwww + beehype.