by Benjami of Maa ilmasta
Since the 1960s, Finland has had a rich tradition of instrumental rock, jazz, and fusion led by world-class musicians and groups. This tradition possesses unique stillness and melancholy, characteristic of the Finnish mindscape. Influences from folk music can often be heard, where the most delicately composed minor chords tell stories of beauty and joy rather than sadness.
Luova Records continues this tradition by releasing the second album of my band, Maa ilmasta. The title of the album is Kaunis kesäkaupunki, ’beautiful summer city’. The name is humoristic in a very Finnish, ironic way. More than a genuine description of a specific city, the statement can be used as a cheap compliment for essentially any Finnish city—even the less outstanding ones.
Listen to the song while reading the text.
The whole concept of a ’summer city’ reflects the Finns’ relationship with the four seasons of the year. One city can have two completely different faces: a sleeping city during the wintertime, and a bustling city in the summer. A warm sun, the long-awaited summer, smiling faces, and blossoming nature have a profound impact on people and cities alike. Roughness turns into beauty.
Kaunis kesäkaupunki is a story about finding grace behind concrete walls and smoking factory chimneys. The album is a fantastic summertime road trip through Finland.
Like all great road trip albums, this album is meant to be listened to in one go. The songs follow each other with seamless transitions. The concept of the album is influenced by bands such as Pink Floyd, Sigur Rós, and the Finnish psych-rock giant Kingston Wall. In our music, elements of rock music fuse wonderfully with acoustic guitars and Finnish folk instruments.