Nordic Music Central Viking Hero

FER (Finland) – Away from me (single/future EP track)

I’ve said this before I know but one of the pleasures of doing this job is that you occasionally come across someone – an artist or a band – that neither you, nor probably anyone else, have heard of, and they club you to the floor like a Mike Tyson uppercut.

This is FER’s (Jennifer Markin) third single from an EP that will surface in the autumn. The artist name is an interesting one. Usually, if they chop up a first name it is the first syllable(s) that is used, so it would be Jenni here. But FER has a ring to it, it’s unusual and who am I to argue anyway?

While this might be only her third song I’m guessing that she has an established history as a performer already. She bills herself as a freelance musician and vocal coach (also an actor), working mainly in schools it seems, but there is a degree of professionalism in the writing and recording of ‘Away from me’ which speaks of someone who knows exactly what she is doing.

The song concerns anxiety and taking time out to care for your mental health. I sense a variety of mental Long Covid amongst many musicians, still. FER isn’t the only one by any means to sing about mental health needs since the pandemic, which, let’s face it, screwed everyone up, whether they admit it to themselves or not.

The opening line is quite concerning, “Don’t wanna be here no more” but it turns out to be voices in her head that are forcing arguments against each other, not a desire to end it all. Hence she needs to distance herself from them, to “take some space for healing”.

Musically, the piece hangs on synthesised notes and chords that sound a little like an accordion, the saddest of instruments, and an intriguing beat that mirrors the one in the chorus of Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Time after time’.

In the final minute (of four) the tempo and volume pick up dramatically into a mini anthem. There was no need for her to do that, it could simply have played out as a pop ballad, and it might even be considered unnecessarily risky.

But it works a treat and one of the reasons is that it shows off FER’s ability to belt out high notes consistently.

It’s pretty damn catchy, too.

Her status as a vocal coach prompts you to expect a high standard and that’s what you get but beyond that I’ll say she has probably the most attractive female voice I’ve heard coming out of Finland since I discovered Stina Koistinen, and that was almost a decade ago.

There have been several female vocalists I’ve identified as ones to watch in the last week or so and I strongly suggest you add FER to them.

Find her on:


Instagram: Instagram:

Here’s an unusual one. LinkedIn (the second link ever, I think)!


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