Finland’s finest brings us some dreamy experimental pop.
The land of thousand lakes is not particularly known for producing bands that make it onto the international stage, and when it does, it is often in the form of metal-acts such as Nightwish, HIM or the infamous Lordi. Jaakko Eino Kalevi’s music, however, has nothing in common with these bands. With his eponymous album that came out on Weird World last year, JEK shows that Finnish music can be as soft as cotton, and still make it to the bigger stages. The hybrid between synth-y electronica and hazy disco-pop makes for a mood that switches between the nostalgic and the romantic, all in one album.
Jaakko Eino Kalevi is often described as a new star on the pop-map, but nothing could be more misleading. Rising to underground prominence after debut-album Dragon Quest was released in 2007, Jyväskylä native and Helsinki resident (where he also moonshines as a tram-driver) Kalevi has followed up his initial success with sophomore Syntymäpäivälaulajana / As a Birthday Singer (2008) while also releasing Modern Life (2010) and Totuude Rakastajat / Amateurs de Verité (2013) and a bunch of EP’s before getting the big break with last year’s full-length album. He has since released a cover of Popcaan’s ”Everything Nice” with Icelandic singer Farao, with a lot of get-stuck-in-your-head-potential (don’t worry, in a good way), as well as toured around the world.
In the aftermath of Stranger Things, which has brought about a resurgence for skillfully performed 80’s synth-music, Jaakko Eino Kalevi stands out as a more experimental 21st century version of the genre, standing side by side with artists such as Air and Sébastien Tellier. However, in contrast to his French colleagues, JEK’s production also has a very Scandinavian (yes, we do know Finland is not a part of Scandinavia) touch to it. This becomes especially evident in songs such as ”Double Talk” or ”Say” that makes your mind travel to distant and cold pastures full of dreamy encounters and melancholic romance.
If you want to listen to more of Jaakko Eino Kalevi’s music, we suggest you check his music out on Soundcloud. Also, hit like on his Facebook or follow his official website for information on future shows.