Concerts Music

Review Efterklang concert in Tallinn – 08/04/2010

Efterklang is a generous band. Before even starting their set at Von Krahl, they showered their love of Tallinn upon the audience, instantly putting everyone at ease. The tension that had built up before the sold-out show, as the crowd waited to hear Efterklang, gave way to a positive energy that fueled the band. They are dynamic performers, and most (if not all) of the band members are multi-instrumentalists. A talented bunch, and I’d happily go to several of their shows during this tour (come back to Tallinn, Efterklang!).


The new album, Magic Chairs, is strong and beautiful. And the live performance of those songs added an extra dimension. My personal favorite on the album and during the show was Modern Drift (which you can listen to on the band’s website: Give it a listen, and then imagine it live and ten times better. Or get thee to one of their shows (, as they’ll be touring through August.

Aside from the enthusiastic performance, the two highlights of the show were the unveiling of a new light system (something you’ll just have to see in person) and watching the bassist climb from the stage up to the balcony where he waded through the crowd, stopping right in front of me before he began clapping to add a bit more electricity to the set. I admit I was slightly concerned that the balcony railing would not hold his weight during the climb. Fortunately there were no catastrophes, and it was easily the best concert I’ve been to this year. I have a feeling I’ll be saying that even in December.

Efterklang performing Full Moon at Von Krahl

Interviews Music

Electro + Pop + Sweetness = Regina

What was
the evolution of Regina? How/where did the three of you meet and how/when did
the band form?

It all
started when we (Iisa & Mikko P.) did a couple of demo tracks in our living
room a few years ago. To our surprise, our music found friends really quickly –
with the help of the Internet – and soon we were asked to play live. We wanted
to try it even though we had no plans to become a real band. It was the
beginning of 2005 when Mikko R. and his drums joined us, and in March we played
the very first gig at Club Limousine in Helsinki.


Regina most
distinguishes itself from other bands with its vocals. Many bands choose to
sing in English in order to reach a wider audience (I assume), but you sing in
Finnish. As it turns out, this in no way hinders your appeal. So, was singing
in Finnish a conscious decision?

I love our
language and choosing Finnish was the only solution for me. It's nice to be
able to use a language as funny and beautiful as Finnish and it's even more fun
when people tell you that they enjoy the language – even though they don't
understand it. We have heard stories of people who have started to learn
Finnish with our music.

{mosimage}Your music
is best described as electro-pop, but there's clearly a different sound coming
through on your new album. Less electronic, more organic, lighter but with more
layering. Can you talk about the differences between the way you approached
your first and second albums?

The new
Regina is definitely more organic and lighter but still electronic. We simply
wanted to get a totally new approach to our music with this album. We put a lot
effort into it. The vocals were also something we wanted to concentrate on more
this time.

What other
bands have an influence on Regina's sound? Any bands you can't get enough of?

This is
always really hard… We love electronic and guitar pop: many amazing solo
artists like Prince, Björk, Stina Nordenstam, Joanna Newsom and Kate Bush;
bands like !!!, Final Fantasy and Hey Willpower; Finnish indie music such as
Cats On Fire and some Fonal's bands for example; 60s and 70s pop, etc. All the
music that we love and enjoy listening to probably has some kind of an
influence on our music; but for us it is quite hard to recognize.

debut album (originally released in Finland in 2005) was released in Japan in
August 2006. Do you hope to continue reaching beyond Finland's borders with
your music? What's the next step for the band?

Our music
has some friends for example in Sweden and in Russia, probably in Japan and
some other countries too. And MySpace is spreading our music all over the world
and that's really nice. We would love to have some kind of audience in
different countries, so
that every now and then we could visit for example Stockholm or Berlin and play for the people that have
found us. But we have no serious plans about how to get big beyond Finland's

What are
your thoughts on Eurovision?

The whole
thing is pretty confusing. But fun at the same time! We enjoy watching the
weird performances. The music is the most confusing part of the show. Sometimes
you want to laugh, sometimes you feel like crying.


Regina’s new album, Oi miten suuria voimia!
was released on 21st
March. More info

Interviews Music

The teddy bear sings freakfolk




Your father is British and your mother is
Finnish, but it seems that you strongly identify with your Finnish side (your
band’s name is Nalle – Finnish for “little bear” – and you don’t use your British
surname for your work). Have you lived in Finland or spent much time here?

Yes, my mother is from Iisalmi and my
father from Sussex, where they both live and where I grew up. As a child I
spent my holidays with my Mummo in Iisalmi until she died and then visits to
Finland became less frequent. Two years ago I spent three months living in
Pispala, Tampere whilst on exchange at art school.




I identify with both ‘sides’, but yes, I
guess I yearn for the forests and lakes in Finland and the scent of the air.
They almost remain a fantasy in my dreams when I am not there and a constant
source of inspiration. I use my middle name Tuulikki (in English means little
wind) as my surname because I think its meaning describes me and the things
that I do better than my real surname. 

The band name Nalle came from the name of
my bear I was given by my Mummo and the idea that somehow our music is like a
transition object between us and the world, in the same way that a toy is to a

Your website ( gives a really
great overview of all of your work, which includes music and drawing. As your
artist’s statement highlights, you use various media “to explore music not as
an end in itself but as part of the wider environmental sound-scape”. Why did
you choose art school rather than music school? Who did you study with at the
Glasgow School of Art?

I guess I never really considered myself a
musician. Sure, I played music, but never in public! Aside from learning the
recorder and flute as a child, I have taught myself to sing and play, so music
school was never an option. It was only while at art school that I began to

I went to art school in Glasgow because I
was interested in the environmental art course as something that looks at other
ways of engaging with an audience apart from the gallery space. Whilst there, I
studied with Tanya Eccleson, Justin Carter, Sue Brind and Ross Sinclair. 

Going to art school was great because it
made me think about who I was and what was important to me. I realised that my
connection with nature and music were the things that motivate me and I wanted
a way of combining those things. I started to experiment with playing outside,
listening to and imitating the sounds around me that in my ears, were all
music. When we look at the world, our sense of vision emphasises the distinct
boundaries between phenomena, whereas the sounds that things make are often not
so distinct and sometimes the experience of listening is often one of
perceiving the inseparability of phenomena. So, I guess I like to create sound
worlds that attempt to dissolve certain distinctions between humans, the
environment and animals.

There’s a thought-provoking essay on your
site (by you) on the role of art in ecological sustainability and environmental
change. Are those ideas you continue to deal with in your work? If so, how do
you do that?

I wrote that essay while I was at art
school, where I became very interested in art that can help to create
social/ecological change. There are certain artists around the world who seek
to use their art as means to create pragmatic change, for example to restore
contaminated land and habitats. I really believe in this work, for example the
work of Mel Chin, Alan Sonfist and Helen Mayer, and Newton Harrison. I began to
try and work in a similar way, but felt trapped in politics and felt
disconnected in some ways to the things that really inspire me.

In this time of ecological crisis, I think
it is also important to embrace the tools that we have to remind us of the
sacred. Music or sound are my tools and I have discovered that aural and
musical metaphors can provide us with a means to describe the world in ways
that remind us of our physical connection to the environment. Within my work
now, I seek to find a sonic space where I can almost transcend my humanness or
my sense of self in order to feel a deeper connection, either with other
people, or another species or a particular environment.

{mosimage}Your band, Nalle, released its first album
(By Chance Upon Waking) in 2006. You sing
partially in Finnish, you play the kantele (a traditional Finnish instrument),
and your music fits in nicely with the current Finnish folk scene. Were you
influenced by Finnish folk music? Who are some of your other influences?

On that album I actually don’t sing in
Finnish, but for some reason in some reviews it says that I do. When we play
live I do sing one traditional gypsy song in Finnish (Voi Ruusuni), which we
are currently recording as part of the new album to come out on Locust Records later
this year.

I picked up a kantele when I was living in
Pispala and started recording with it, enjoying the way the wood sits in my
hands and its pure sound. I like the kantele as an instrument and its symbolic
significance in folklore. I have not heard many recordings that use traditional
musical forms, except for PRIMO’s Bear Feast (Karhu Juhla), which I think has
definitely been an influence. I also have a great album of wax cylinder
recordings made in the first part of the 20th century. I like the
simple pentatonic melodies and I love the stories. I have also listened to a
fair bit of Finnish gypsy music and met some great players on my travels.

Other influences range from traditional
folk music from many parts of the world, music of the 60s and 70s folk revival,
60s drone music, free or improvised music and music of the birds.

People have compared you to Joanna Newsom
and Björk, but I find your vocal
experimentation unique. Can you share something about your singing aesthetic?

Yes, that comparison is made too often! I
find this question quite difficult to answer because I don’t really think about
it – I just sing! It is just what feels like the most natural form of
expression. I try to expand the range of sounds I make so that I use my voice as
an instrument and I sing with words to tell stories.