Vettenvalvoja Phenomenal Creature
- 1Dark Lights04:21
- 4We All Who Live04:52
- 5Ocean of Roars03:43
- 6Sky Blue Sky05:11
- 7Someday's Stranger03:24
- 8Loneliest Creature03:56
- 9Black Sea03:57
Info zu Vettenvalvoja
Hailing from Helsinki, Finland, Phenomenal Creature claim a modern folk genre, but deliver well beyond its traditional boundaries. There’s a touch of rock, a snippet of classical, a moment of punk and even a sprinkling of electro, delivered through strings of all sizes. Yet the sound they offer on Vettenvalvoja has an almost-live quality, achieved through the old-school expedient of recording the band playing together in a single room.
Resting on powerful percussion and topped off with vocals to die for, the band’s diversity of influences in wrapped into a refreshing collection that we are delighted to premiere here.
The album opens with “Dark Lights” – simple, stripped-back folk guitar, supporting Rosita Manninen’s simple, clear vocals. Building with percussion, strings and layers of harmony, there’s a hint of country to the vibe. Never complicated, always authentic, this is a toe-tapper easing gently into what the band has to offer.
Which is definitely not more of the same. “Vultures” is rock. Not folky-rock-lite, but folk-rock with a metal edge. It might open with a few chords of classical cello, but it plunges into heavy-duty rhythms and vocal attack. The contrast feeds into the lyrics too, if proof were needed that variety is the beating heart of this band – “our feathers sing the symphonies while we eat up all the dirt”.
Ready for the next ride? Traditional as they come, title track “Vettenvalvoja” brings the sound a sea shanties in 3/4 time. Translating as “the watcher of waters”, it’s not surprising that music and lyrics (sung in Finnish) evoke the dance of the ocean.
If pop is your thing, “We All Who Live”, with its R&B melody and contemporary vocal styling is for you. Catchy as you like, with little earworms wriggling through the tune, the track segues smoothly into “Ocean Of Roars” which ramps up the traditional flavour with fiddle and percussion.
Taking it down a notch or two, “Sky Blue Sky” provides a showcase for Rosita’s vocals against pizzicato-string raindrops. Achingly emotional, this is a ballad of disappointment in a life of abundance, acknowledging that we can find life hard to live, even when we seem to have everything. Continuing the theme of yearning for things we can’t have in life and in love, “Someday’s Stranger” is exquisitely unpretentious, arranged with light hands and open hearts. Rooted in layered harmonies, “Loneliest Creature” completes a trilogy of songs reflecting the disparity between what we want and what we have “If I had the powers that I wish I had, I would be the loneliest creature here on earth.” Be careful what you ask for, because you might get it.
Channelling Leonard Cohen’s “Anthem”, penultimate track “Black Sea” opens with “We are the crack where all the light comes in”. Set against a travelling rhythm, this is a contradiction of a song. Like the ocean in its subject, it’s cheery, yet listen carefully and there’s a darkness within “We hear the waves and we hear their screams, let us dive deep into the sea”.
Closing the album, “Intentions” offers a song of comfort in love. Held by rhythmic strings and decorated occasionally by resonant cello, the orchestration is both sublime and challenging. Of all the tracks on the album, “Intentions” demonstrates the band’s musicianship and, in signing off, provides a calling card for further exploration of their mastery of melody.
Describing the core of the album as “melodic, poetic and vocal-driven songs” with lyrics that “grasp the eternal questions of life and it’s limitations, of compassion, loneliness and of friendship and love” Phenomenal Creature have woven together their diversity of inspiration through a theme of water and the sea. The weave is sufficiently gentle that each song shines in it’s own space and time. The album remains uncontrived, showcasing songwriting talent, musicianship and flawless vocals.
Rosita Manninen, lead vocals, vocal harmonies, flute
Joona Mäkelä, guitar & string instruments, vocal harmonies
Seidi Guzejev, violin, vocal harmonies, synths, glockenspiel
Saara Viika, cello, piano, backing vocals
Joel Pihlaja, drums, percussions, backing vocals
is a modern folk band from Helsinki, Finland. Live and on record Phenomenal Creature connects with listeners through powerful vocals and lyrics that capture the imagination. The band's organic soundscape is created with violin, cello, acoustic guitar and percussions, and topped with a wide range of influences from classical to electronic music and progressive to punk and alt-rock. The musicians have diverse backrounds in such groups as Hisser, Lady Escape, Café de Abejas and Jesufåglar.
The group spent 2016 working on their due to be released full length album. During 2017 they will tour performing the songs from the upcoming album in various live venues around Europe and in Finland. The self published album titled Vettenvalvoja will be released in late May 2017.
Dieses Album enthält kein Booklet