2009 was a whirlwind year for Burning Hearts. Since releasing their debut album they've toured Scandinavia and the US, headlined the NYC Popfest, and have now found a place on more top-10 lists than you can count. They start off 2010 with a new single "Night Animal." The track is backed by a remix of "A Peasant's Dream" from Finland's Jori Hulkkonen.
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Countless throughout the history of pop are the people who have remarked about the apparent effortlessness with which the Nordic countries make music whose melodiousness, grace, and sheer indelibility is beyond compare. Whether ABBA, The Cardigans, and the Club 8-Acid House Kings-Legends axis (Sweden), or A-Ha, Sondre Lerche, and Kings of Convenience (Norway), these are artists who, whether abiding by tradition or skewering it in previously unimaginable ways, create songs that evoke a brighter life - a life full of more drama, more comedy, more love and loves lost.
But relatively unsung amidst its northern European neighbors is Finland, despite it being home to dozens of bands that are the equals - if not the superiors - of their globally famous contemporaries. Two apt cases in point: Le Futur Pompiste, which released one marvelous album in 2004, Your Stories and Your Thoughts, before the vagaries of adult life scattered them far and wide; and Cats on Fire, whose debut long-player, 2007's The Province Complains, captivated all who were lucky enough to hear it (among them the writers at superlative U.K. magazine The Word). It was inevitable that this pair of bands, whose music shares a poise and sophistication rarely heard anywhere, never mind within the modest environs of Finland, would find each other. When they did, two members - Cats on Fire drummer and multi-instrumentalist Henry Ojala, and Le Futur Pompiste singer Jessika Rapo - decided to make yet more music on their own. The result is Burning Hearts.
Full of subtle detail and a uniformly warm sound, this is a dream of idealized pop: beautifully understated vocals, melodies as reassuring as a lover's embrace, and a tone of intimacy that could only come from collaboration that is fully simpatico. For fans of Cats on Fire, Le Futur Pompiste, Broadcast, The Magnetic Fields, Stereolab, Brittle Stars, Camera Obscura
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