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Chamellows - JPop.com
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Chamellows

Chamellows

Chamellows


Chamellows (which means ‘Sleeping Bags’ in case you were wondering…) is the collaborative project of Laura Naukkarinen (better known as Lau Nau) and the visual artist Mikko Kuorinki. Those of you who know Naukkarinen’s work for American label Locust will no doubt already be fidgeting with anticipation, ‘Kuutarha’ her debut album, is widely accepted as being the holy grail of Finnish folk music (Sami Sanpakkila of Fonal referenced it as one of his top Finnish records of all time!). Read more on Last.fm
Chamellows (which means ‘Sleeping Bags’ in case you were wondering…) is the collaborative project of Laura Naukkarinen (better known as Lau Nau) and the visual artist Mikko Kuorinki. Those of you who know Naukkarinen’s work for American label Locust will no doubt already be fidgeting with anticipation, ‘Kuutarha’ her debut album, is widely accepted as being the holy grail of Finnish folk music (Sami Sanpakkila of Fonal referenced it as one of his top Finnish records of all time!). This anthology of songs is something of an ‘early works’ collection, with some tracks dating back ten years, grabbing odd tunes from limited 7”s and long forgotten gems which were no doubt gathering dust and mould on an old 4-track tape. At no point however do I get the feeling when listening to ‘Rat Hearts’ that the material has dated, maybe that’s because it possesses that creepy Finish charm we’ve all fallen in love with in the last couple of years, but it wouldn’t surprise me if this had been recorded ten days ago, let alone ten years.

Of course as we’ve heard with so many Fonal releases now, the duo manage somehow to combine styles as if they are totally unaware of current musical practices, blending elements of punk and new wave with the overriding sound of freak-folk you might associate with Fonal’s poster-girl Islaja. It’s not for the faint hearted of course – but tracks like ‘Siggur’ sounds like it could almost be a pop song playing on a broken transistor radio piped into 1974 and ‘Summerfun’ sounds like it really should have been a kids TV theme in the mid 1980s. All this pop excess is as always interspersed with improvised insanity; the Kemialliset Ystävät -lite synth/guitar schizophrenia of ‘Horsepuke Carpark Snow-white’ or ‘Flash Light Beat Heart’ but that’s what makes Fonal so damned attractive isn’t it? The uncompromising attitude, the ability to make pop records sound so peculiar and the fact they don’t seem to mind babbling away in that beautiful alien language, unaware that most of their listeners can’t understand a word. ‘Rat Hearts’ is a rewarding and challenging experience and that’s the only way I can explain it – long live Fonal! Read more on Last.fm.

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