Regina’s Soita mulle (Call Me for those not familiar with Finnish) is something you wouldn’t expect coming out of Finnish music scene. Dreamy and petite pop adorned with nuances of shoegaze never was, and even today isn’t, part of the country’s music scene. When it was released in 2011 the album became both a commercial and critical success, an unexpected but welcomed disturbance in the status quo of uneventful releases. For a nation that enjoys fleeting summers, with their endless night-piercing sunrays, these few months are the lifeblood; life is made, lived and lost like there was no tomorrow. To capture this atmosphere is a miracle, and in that Regina’s masterpiece succeeds. Two young bodies, intertwined and laying under shade, glowing in the soft light. Grass bent under their weight, lovers captured in the realization of now and its short-lived nature. This theme illustrates the cover art and repeats itself in the music videos. But even without visual cues one can’t but to evoke these images, so precisely they are made alive in Regina’s music.
Unessa [Asleep] kicks off the record with an upbeat and hazy melody that is built around twinkling and echoing noices – representations of sunbeams glittering on a tranquil lake. As the name implies, it’s an invitation to a hypnotizing dream. What follows is a story of finding your significant other. Haluan sinut [I Want You] is a ode to the feeling when you become blind for everyone and everything else other than your beloved one. It’s a catchy pop-rock song that forces a smile on your face. “Take away all the weapons, give away everything that you could defence yourself with”, repeats on the third track, Lepään aalloilla [I’m Resting On the Waves]. It’s a slow, mellow song built around the aforementioned, thought provoking lyrics; only by opening yourself, lowering all defences, can you really love. Jos et sä soita [If You Don’t Call] and Päivät valuvat [Days Dribble] are typical electro-pop pieces, lead by minimalistic guitar and synthesizer play. In the love story of long, warm and bright nights, they tell about days when you restlessly wait for that call, when days pass sluggishly and when the magic gives away just slightly as to balance your romanticism infused, naive thoughts.
Mustavalkeaa [Black and White], one of the highlights of the album with it’s catchy guitar, sounds like Ride, the British shoegaze group from late 80’s and early 90’s. The singer Iisa Pykäri’s girlish voice recites beautiful words one after another, almost whimsically. What follows is a personal favorite. Ui mun luo [Swim To Me] creates an aquatic soundscape, an experience like no other. The two lovers, now embraced by soft, warm waves, gaze at each other from a distance, then dive to each other’s arms, spiraling underwater hidden from eyes. Iisa’s sighing forms a perfect alliance with elemental sounds of water and sparkling cavernous echoes. Gently shredding guitar and ghastly organ blows resonate in Harjun takaa [From Behind The Ridge] as Iisa sings “Seawind flows from behind the ridge, I can feel it’s salty air on my face”. It’s an aggressive composition on an otherwise soft album. The last song Valveilla [Awake] introduces some dissonance to this love story, but not that of vicious quality. Rather, it’s about those passing, even silly, moments of strife. Quarrelsome words are exchanged, but soon peace is made.
It’s an interesting detail that the album begins with a song named Asleep and ends with one entitled Awake. Love might be a dream, but instead of waking from it you wake to it, an important distinction that is often ignored. Soita mulle is an album that not only possesses a unique and mesmerizing sound, but also carefully crafts an eternal story of love in its early moments. This is a soundtrack for summers in the past and summers yet to come.
L’auteur du jour: There is a common theme when it comes to Sebastian and his taste in music: Dissonant, dreamy, trippy, noisy and mesmerizingly melodic. Add some romanticism in and it’s perfect. From classical to jazz and from shoegaze to IDM, this journalist from Finland enjoys music in all its genres, and spends excessive hours in sonic landscapes. Mention My Bloody Valentine and he flips out.