EuroJams Spring 2019 Edition – Part 1: Joose Keskitalo, Pom Poko & Kungens Män
Joose Keskitalo: En lähde surussa
Yeah, yeah, I see you out there, nodding along to all these recommendations politely but deep inside wondering “yeah, but when are you gonna get to the good Euroshit?” Well, the wait is over. We’ve got a few weeks worth of across-the-pond delights for your eardrums, starting with En lähde surussa from Finnish musician Joose Keskitalo. This is one of those records that’s hard to get a lot of info about without Google Translate, but suffice it to say, it’s a weirdo jazz-folk hybrid with a dark-meets-light thing that’s unlike anything I’ve heard and yet cozily familiar. The bass clarinet is featured prominently to excellent otherworldly effect. Released back in January, this has been one of my favorite surprises of the year so far.
Pom Poko: Birthday
Let’s keep this an all-Scandinavian set for this week, hopping over to Norway for the superb debut album from Pom Poko. Birthday is a bit of an art-rock masterpiece, often calling to mind Deerhoof or the Dirty Projectors with its angular, guitar-meets-powerhouse-rhythm sound. These are some dense and delightful tracks, intelligent and playful, thoughtful moments interleaved with serious rock-out. It’s impressive when a debut has this much going on fully formed from the womb. It’s all great, but the track “Follow The Lights” is some rock-circa-2019 perfection. So much to love in this one, hit repeat and discover new delights on the next go-around. Enjoy!
Kungens Män: Chef
Can’t take the RecommNeds to Northern Europe without making a stop in Sweden, can we? Of course not. Not when bands like Kungens Män follow up their previously-recommended full length from last summer with a stellar four-track LP, Chef. While the other two picks this week are quite song-centric, for all their artistry, this pick is four tracks of pure psychedelic, jammed-out brilliance. If you dig the EuroJams, and really, if you’re reading this, I hope you do, then you’re definitely going to dig this one. More ragers from elsewhere in Europe next week, until then, skål!!