The new album from Finnish musician Jaakko Eino Kalevi is perfect for rainy days, sleepless nights with its atmospheric mood and heavy spleen.

Songs like Double Talk immediately put one’s mind into a relaxing mode. Smooth keyboards, airy singing, soft percussions… Marrying Jay Jay Johansson with Beach House (musically speaking of course!) would probably result in Jaakko Eino Kalevi. These links are pretty obvious on songs like Don’t Ask Me Why. On the magnificent Deeper Shadows, a great keyboard melody transports this song in the catchiest category, up there with songs like Young Folks (Peter, Björn and John) and Happy Up Here (Röyksopp). Kalevi gets help from regular contributor Suad Khalifa that picks up the mic, in the same moody fashion. But on most songs, Kalevi sounds like synth bands Washed Out and Silicon.

The former tram driver in Helsinski is now a Berlin-based musician. His work often sounds like 80’s music on a slower beat. Say sounds like a Human League cover, on a slower pace. All through his first album on Weird World Records, that just came out on June 15, 2015, Kalevi takes his time to set up the ambiance using layers of keyboards, before smoothly jumping in with his low voice (Mind Like Muscle). Some songs are a bit more upbeat, like Night at the Field, but they still fit in the general smooth mood Kalevi built in this album. Unlike artists like Rhye, Kalevi’s music isn’t sexy. It’s just very nice and relaxing.

Kalevi was born and raised near the central Finnish lakeland city of Jyväskylä. Although the name sounds new to many of us, here in America, he started playing music a decade ago, releasing numerous EP’s and 7”s. At a very young age, he became interested in music diving into Dream Theater’s prog rock at age 11, then into hip-hop, reggae, disco, and so one. Moving to Helsinski, the country’s capital, he started to do shows. He released the EP “Dreamzone” in 2013, on which he plays all instruments, sings and produces.

This album has no chance to wake you up. But it can definitively be a great companion on grey days and moments where you stare at the ceiling, having a hard time to find sleep. I’m not saying it’s boring. In fact, it’s quite the opposite: this self-titled album by Jasko Eino Kalevi is captivating, soothing and relaxing. Try it out when you’re in the mood.

JAAKKO EINO KALEVI
Jaakko Eino Kalevi
(Weird World, 2015)

-Genre: ambiant indie pop
-In the same mood than Silicon, Jay Jay Johansson, Rhye, Washed Out

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Listen to videos on the label’s YouTube channel

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About The Author

Nicolas Pelletier

Mélomane invétéré et rédacteur agréé, Nicolas pratique la critique en mode olympique: il parle de tout, tout le temps, depuis 1991. Il a publié 6 000 critiques de disques et concerts dont 1100 chez emoragei magazine et 600 sur enMusique.ca, dont il a également été le rédacteur-en-chef de 2009 à 2014. Il publie “Les perles rares et grands crus de la musique” en 2013, et devient stratège numérique des radios de Bell Média en 2015, participant au lancement de la marque iHeartRadio au Canada en 2016.