I mentioned in a review the other day that Denmark is traditionally rated as the second happiest country in the world but it traditionally finishes behind Finland to the northeast, the ‘Undisputed Champion of the World’ in that category, and the gap is bigger than the one between Manchester City and Manchester United.
Strangely it also has quite a high suicide rate as well but at least they die happy I suppose. That excruciating oxymoron is the only thing I can drag out of that.
The place is so happy that it can only be expressed by way of probably the funniest line I ever heard in ‘Friends.’ Phoebe is dating a guy played by Alec Baldwin of all people, whose character is that of Voltaire’s Dr Pangloss, whose philosophy was that “all is for the best in this best of all possible worlds”
Except that Baldwin took that position to the power of 10. No-one could do anything bad, everyone is wonderful, and every cloud has a silver lining. You get the idea.
Eventually Phoebe tired of it and ended the relationship with the eviscerating, “You…you’re Santa Claus…on Prozac…at Disneyland…getting laid.”
And that’s Finland folks. Or so they tell me.
All that was to introduce you gently to Juppe. He’s just released this track, ‘Curtis’ from his forthcoming debut album ‘Feeling Bad about Feeling Sad in the Happiest Country in the World’ which we’ll see in September.
And he’s keen to let us know he had “the most fun I’ve had yet in the studio” while making it, adding “I can hear that in there, too“.
Having said that, and here is that peculiar Finnish dichotomy again, he also remarks that ‘Curtis’ “is a love song and probably the only positive one on the record.”
That positivity is based on his astute observation that “I think it’s always a small miracle when we meet someone who feels the same way. “
I don’t really know how to describe ‘Curtis’. There is no genre that immediately comes to mind. It’s a sort of soul meets electro-pop (by way of a sax!) concoction. What I can say for sure if that if I didn’t know it was a product of Finland I would have guessed instantly. This formless androgynous construction, set to a high-paced beat, (one that is quite jazzy on some of his other album work that is already released) is becoming commonplace there and I discern numerous similarities between Juppe and label mate Knife Girl.
There’s never a dull moment in Finland and the album will be an intriguing introduction.
‘Curtis’ arrived on 2nd June. The nine-track album on 22nd September 2023
Both via the Soliti label.
Vocals, guitar, production: Juppe
Drums, production: Nestori Majoinen
Saxophone: Aapo Soulanto.
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