Music Finland Staff Picks: Our favourite Finnish albums of 2023

We take one more look at 2023 to choose our favourite albums of the year gone by. See Music Finland staff’s choices below, and scroll down to listen to our newest staff picks Spotify playlist.

It’s time to look back on another year in Finnish music: Which albums has the staff at Music Finland been listening to and vibing throughout 2023? See our choices here, arranged in alphabetical order by each voter's name.

Chosen by: Tuuli Elo (Export Manager, contemporary and classical, folk and global music)

Vimma – Tornadon silmässä (Nordic Notes)

"The powerful message of Vimma grasped me already at first listening. Music can make a strong impact on people, and there are not too many albums dedicated to fight the climate change and environmental problems. Vimma’s Tornadon silmässä (“In the Eye of the Tornado”) does this with quality and passion. I admire how Vimma mixes musical sounds and genres in a very natural way. A brilliant example of the vivid contemporary folk music scene in Finland!"

Listen to Tornadon silmässä on Apple Music and Spotify.

Chosen by: Teemu Fiilin (Communications Manager)

Moshimoshi: Green LP (All That Plazz)

"Fifth wave emo heroes from Helsinki, Moshimoshi emerged in 2021 with their debut ep moshimoshi I, which already pretty much laid the band’s full hand on the table: five two-minute songs with breakneck tempos, math-y drum patterns and utterly melodic, jazzy and labyrinthine webs of guitar, topped with an earful of spill-your-guts-out screamo squall. Their first full-length (which, in this case, means 12 songs in 32 minutes) Green LP adds a new drummer, punchier production, a couple tracks with slower tempos and bit fuzzier guitars in the mix – but other than that, why mess with success? Make sure to catch Moshimoshi on stage, where they’re really at their best, before they get too big and people start calling them a sell-out."

Listen to Green LP on Apple Music and Spotify.

Chosen by: Merja Hottinen (Research Manager)

Verneri Pohjola – Monkey Mind (Edition Records)

"The term "monkey mind" refers to a restless, unsettled, or constantly active mind – something probably quite familiar to many of us in these busy times. It is also the title for jazz trumpeter Verneri Pohjola’s new album, and in many ways a very fitting title. However, the edgy detours of the music always find their focus and a way back to inner peace. Inventive and enjoyable, the music both excites and soothes. Perfect music to focus your thoughts after a busy day!"

Listen to Monkey Mind on Apple Music and Spotify.

Chosen by: Petra Immonen (Intern)

Markus Venehsalo and Mavon Safia – Introlation (Eclipse Music)

"Instrumental, guitar-oriented rock with influences from heavy metal and funk to jazz and surf rock and featuring star guitarists Frank Gambale and Mikko Kosonen. Band leader and a guitar virtuoso Markus Venehsalo himself said that he wanted to make the album on his own terms and it really seemed to pay off. The album is filled with surprises, unique sound, nice grooves, wonderful playing and a feeling that the musicians are actually having fun."

Listen to Introlation on Apple Music and Spotify.

Chosen by: Niko Kangas (Senior Advisor)

Virta: Horros (Svart Records)

"Great album!"

Listen to Horros on Apple Music and Spotify.

Chosen by: Kari Laitinen (Information Manager)

Kaija Saariaho – Reconnaissance [with Helsinki Chamber Choir and Nils Schweckendiek] (BIS)

"The Helsinki Chamber Choir's album, conducted by Niels Schweckendiek, contains Kaija Saariaho's choral works from three decades. The compositions are mainly made for a cappella choir, but some also include electronics and musical instruments. This album is nominated for a 2024 GRAMMY Award."

Listen to Reconnaissance on Apple Music and Spotify.

Chosen by: Heli Lampi (Head of Communications and Promotion)

Johanna Juhola – A Brighter Future (Nordic Notes 2023)

"Johanna Juhola is an internationally acclaimed accordionist, composer and musical all-rounder who has created her own fantasy tango style. Her music combines folk music, various electronic sounds and elements of pop. The songs are like little stories, full of playful patterns and beautiful, nostalgic melodies. Put the album on for a walk or a long drive and let your imagination take you there."

Listen to A Brighter Future on Apple Music and Spotify.

Chosen by: Mikko Manninen (Executive Director)

Alma – Time Machine (PME Records)

"Alma's Time Machine is a world-class pop album, with also some of the world's top music makers in its personnel. The album combines retro nuances with melodic choruses in a fresh manner, without being a pastiche from past decades. Alma's voice is amazing as always and the album’s production supports it. My favorite song from the album is “Tell Mama”, with a full 10/10 chorus on the pop scale."

Listen to Time Machine on Apple Music and Spotify.

Chosen by: Paulina Partanen (Manager, Sheet Music Production)

Stam1na – X (Sakara Records)

"Stam1na's 10th album, hardcore attitude with all the extras and goodies. Auntie likes!"

Listen to X on Apple Music and Spotify.

Chosen by: Turo Pekari (Innovation and Business Development Executive)

Babel – Marriage (PME Records)

"2023 is a perfect year for dream pop (as any other year). Babel is the dreamchild of Karin Mäkiranta and Mikko Pykäri, Finnish indie pop heavyweights with history in Karina, Shine 2009 and Regina. Their latest album is a true gem, paying homage to the whole canon of the genre from Cocteau Twins to Beach House without forgetting its Nordic uniqueness. Babel’s gig at Lost in Music in October 2023 was one of the highlights of the leading Finnish showcase festival. The album to be served in candlelight with a glass of wine."

Listen to Marriage on Apple Music and Spotify.

Chosen by: Loviisa Pihlakoski (Editor/FMQ, Communications Expert)

Selma Savolainen – Horror Vacui (Whirlwind Recordings)

"Selma Savolainen's album Horror Vacui beautifully weaves a narrative portraying the emotional emptiness experienced from the absence of a loved one. Savolainen blends Finnish folk tunes with nuances of jazz and alternative styles, creating a unique and captivating musical experience. Savolainen's striking vocal delivery stands out, conveying a dramatic essence to the music. The album's theme of fearing empty spaces, reflected in the title "Horror Vacui," also connects with the listener..."

Listen to Horror Vacui on Apple Music and Spotify.

Chosen by: Anna Reponen (Export Manager, pop and rock)

Arttu Silvast – Surface [EP] (Desert Glass Audio)

"A wonderful compilation of pieces that reflect Arttu’s ability to create unique soundscapes taking you to another world. Deserves and requires to be listened from proper audio equipment. Close your eyes and enjoy!"

Listen to Surface (EP) on Apple Music and Spotify.

Chosen by: Visa-Matti Uimonen (Financial Manager)

Goldielocks – East to South [EP] (Sony Music Entertainment Finland)

"Every so often, a new artist emerges, instantly capturing your attention from the very first note. Goldielocks is one such sensation whose unforgettable voice and brilliant tracks demand more than just a listen. The 'East to South' EP showcases five songs of exceptional and genuine pop music. There's a perfect blend of familiarity and refreshing innovation in her music that leaves you wanting more. With each track, Goldielocks proves to be a breath of fresh air in the music scene. Anticipating future releases has never been more exciting!"

Listen to East to South (EP) on Apple Music and Spotify.


Music Finland staff picks: Our favourite Finnish albums of 2023

It’s time to look back on another year in Finnish music: Which albums has the staff at Music Finland been listening to and vibing throughout 2023?