Scandinavia’s good at music. From Sweden’s 60s Progg movement (not to be confused with the prog rock causing a stir in the UK a decade-or-so later) to the joyous lo-fi garage rock and indie punk mastered by the likes The Hives and The (International) Noise Conspiracy, bands from the peninsula know their way around a riff or two.
Finland’s Kynnet are one such group. Having freshly released new 7” Alaovi – written in the wake of a breakup and “dedicated to girls, obviously” – the group channels the sort of fuzzy power-pop the region does so well.
To mark the new release, the band join us to chat through the 10 best albums to ever have come from their Scandinavian cohorts.
International Harvester - Sov Gott Rose-Marie (1968)
Hilla: “[Swedish] avant garde-ist and folkish vibes take turns with songs that sound almost like punk, but even during its most experimental moments, the rhythm is still there. This album sounds like the perfect krautrock jam you want to participate [in].”
Plain Ride - Strange Trial (2007)
Hilla: “[Finnish band] Plain Rides’ second album still sounds as wise, raw and beautiful as it did when released ten years ago. Janne Westerlund’s naked voice, accompanied by tenacious grooves and pretty melodies, creates a unique story that maintains its magic from the very first acoustic guitar chords of the opening track until the trombone puffs of the last song.”
Kaseva - Silloin Kun (1974)
Sampo: “[This] Finnish folk-pop group’s first album from 1974. Timeless production and beautiful songwriting. This has been the soundtrack for each passing day of my late twenties.”
Leevi And The Leavings - Rakkauden Planeetta (1995)
Sampo: “Finnish national treasure, and my first love, Gösta Sundqvist did not perform live with his group, and focused solely on writing and producing. Album full of diverse storytelling and a hit after another.”
Iceage - New Brigade (2010)
Johannes: “Not sure what [this Danish] band’s doing these days, but I liked their debut album a lot when it came out. Noisy and random, but not at all impenetrable. Raw yet pretty catchy at times.”
Joensuu 1685 - Joensuu 1685 (2008)
Johannes: “Unfortunately this Finnish band didn’t stick around for too long, but the one album they released made an impression on me in my late teenage years. Shoegaze, psychedelia, pop, kraut…. gospel. Still sounds good.”
Kid Commando - Holy Kid Commando (2003)
Teemu: “Took me right off my guard when I heard it the first time. Two of the guys went on later to form the Swedish band Skull Defekts, which is also pure dynamite, but the passion and vision in this one especially burns bright. Not a single miss. Something I wish I’d written.”
Philemon Arthur And The Dung - Philemon Arthur And The Dung (1972)
Teemu: “Of course. One of the best outsider gems from the vaults of the Swedish kitchen tape scene, and to this day gets to remain a real mystery, which is kind of rare nowadays. Charming, odd, and fun!”
Bluesounds - Black (1980)
Teemu: “I recently read a book about Dave Lindholm, the lead singer and guitarist of this Finnish group. Reminded me how influential they’ve been to the way I make art and music myself. It’s minimal, thin, kind of in-your-face and yet catchy as hell.”
Ättestupa - Begraven Mot Norr (2010)
Teemu: “Gothenburg’s masterminds at their best. Soundtrack from the past, for the past. So haunting it’s hard to listen to all by yourself.”
Alaovi, the first single from Kynnet’s new 7”, is available now via Black Pop Records.