In the Spotlight

It’s all about emotions: Lau Nau and Phantom

Nuorgam, the snazziest little music site in Finland, takes a long look at the bands we are carting off to Eurosonic. In this episode Nuorgam travels in the deeps of rainy fishing villages with a hint of synthetic lifestyle. Meet Lau Nau and Phantom!

9. Lau Nau

Video: Kuoleman tappajan kuolema (dir. Sami Sänpäkkilä)

What is it?

Lau Nau is an ensemble personified by musician Laura Naukkarinen. Naukkarinen has played in a many well-known experimental outfits, like Avarus, Kiila, and Hertta Lussu Ässä. The fragile music released under the Lau Nau moniker is a balancing act between folk and avant-garde. Due to its unique nature, Naukkarinen releases her music through the internationally respected Finnish independent label Fonal Records. She has also composed music for dance pieces and film soundtracks.

Why do we care?

Naukkarinen’s music brings to mind dusty attics, rainy fishing villages and fir forests. It’s not tied to the 21st century or any geographic location. Naukkarinen is a unique musician and finding points of comparison for her pretty much impossible. On her latest album, Valohiukkanen, released in the fall of 2012, she has taken a step towards a pop music logic, which has made her music more approachable than before.

Lineup:

Laura Naukkarinen
Various visiting musicians

Releases:

Kuutarha (Locust Music, 2005)
Nukkuu (Fonal Records, 2008)
Valohiukkanen (Fonal Records, 2012)

If we had to pick three adjectives to describe the band, they would be…
...centered, mystical, close to nature.

What record have the band members probably listened to the most in their lives?
Ancient field recordings and cassettes full of fairy tales.

If a good fairy gave the band one wish it would be…
...a chance to swim with whales.

If the band were to go on the road to support a big star, it would tour with…
...Bat For Lashes, so that Natasha Khan and Laura Naukkarinen can discuss the essence of of pop music.

In two years…
...Kim Gordon, formerly of Sonic Youth, invites Lau Nau to play a show in New York.

10. Phantom

Video: Scars (dir. Delicode Ltd / Studio Lumikuu)

What is it?

Tommi Koskinen and Hanna Toivonen met each other at a startup training event put on by Aalto University. They tried making music together, but Phantom wasn’t really born until Toivonen decided to go to Austin for the SXSW 2012 event as a mobile industry representative. Phantom ended up performing five times at the event, even though they were supposed to play just one show. At this point even The xx has name checked the band on their Tumblr.

Why do we care?

The story behind Phantom is exciting. Two music lovers meet, start writing together and garner international attention, even though they’ve written a mere four songs. The duo’s melancholy sound comes partially from the same place as someone like the Swedish band Niki & The Dove. What separates Phantom from trend chasers are their excellent songs.

Lineup:

Hanna Toivonen (vocals)
Tommi Koskinen (producer)

Releases:

Scars-EP (online release, 2012)

If we had to pick three adjectives to describe the band, they would be…
...melancholy, synthetic, dark.

What record have the band members probably listened to the most in their lives?
...The Knife and Yazoo.

If a good fairy gave the band one wish it would be…
…a trip back in time to the techno clubs of Berlin in the 1990s.

If the band were to go on the road to support a big star, it would tour with…
...The xx. The British band has also demonstrated a fondness for the duo’s music, but there are other facets that unite them, with urban melancholy as the most important one.

In two years…
...Phantom will be in Berlin working on their second album. The first single will already have been released, as well as a remix by Jamie xx

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