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Sister Flo Tragician’s Hat [Anniversary Edition]

Sister Flo — Tragician’s Hat [Anniversary Edition] (September 12, 2014)

Finland       Sister Flo — Tragician’s Hat [Anniversary Edition]Sister Flo — Tragician’s Hat [Anniversary Edition]
♥β♥   Sister Flo kohisi kauneimmin.
“Oh, we love thunder
We love rain and we love life
And it must hurt
When you get here only twice”
Editorial Reviews
♥β♥   Sister Flo is a group from southern Finland, gathered together to realise their ambitions: writing songs and playing them to other people. The group consists of Samae Koskinen, Mikko Salonen, Antti Kaistinen, Jarno Alho and Janne Lastumaki.Their debut long player, released in October 2001, was called "Boys of Cat". It was released through their own label, Han Soo Voice.
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Album release: September 12, 2014
Record Label: Soliti/Delphic Recordings
Duration:     40:10 + 47:44 => 87:54
Tracks:
CD1: Tragician’s Hat (Re–mastered Original Recordings)
01. Four Souls     4:29
02. White Noise     4:19
03. Bill And Jesus (Black)     3:11
04. Shortcuts     3:02
05. September + 2     4:09
06. Guillotine     3:37
07. Feathers     3:45
08. Tina Turner Shitting Position     4:25
09. They’d Better Build A Dam To Field Island     2:50
10. Nathaniel & Isabel     6:23
CD2: Tragician’s Hat — Unreleased & Rarities
01. Tragician’s Hat (Radio Helsinki ad)     0:30
02. All the Sunshine Comes From Your Smile     5:38
03. Baby Love     3:45
04. Plunder Island Turnaround     4:13
05. Major III     6:01
06. I’m Not Someone Who Can Break Your Heart     3:43
07. Moustache     3:49
08. Photo Is A Transformer     4:30
09. First Plow Of The Winter     3:01
10. Rumbanova     3:33
11. Nathaniel & Isabel (Live)     5:25
12. Bill and Jesus (Black) (Live)     3:36  Below: © vasemmalta Mikko Salonen, Samae Koskinen ja Antti Kaistinen. (Photo credit/Kuva: Tomi Palsa)
REVIEW
♥β♥   Maybe I’ve been writing this blog far too long, because record labels are already starting to reissue the ones that I covered and loved during the early days of One Chord to Another. Soliti couldn’t have picked a better one to reissue though, so I’m glad they are reissuing Tragician’s Hat and I’m more than happy to feature it again. ♥β♥   After all, Sister Flo’s Tragician’s Hat is a masterpiece and one of my all–time favourite albums. I still love everything about it. Samae’s beautiful vocals, the insightful arrangements, lyrics that sometimes make perfect sense and occasionally don’t make any sense whatsoever. Tragician’s Hat has aged perfectly. My review from 2004 probably hasn’t aged as perfectly and it sure is weird to read something you wrote ten years ago. Nevertheless here’s the 2004 review of Tragician’t Hat below.
Sister Flo: Tragician’s Hat (Delphic, 2004)
♥β♥   An instant love affair. Sister Flo is creating magical and colourful music. It’s simple enough to be enjoyable, but it’s also so detailed and thoughtful underneath. ♥β♥   How can music so strong sound so soft and gentle. I know that Sister Flo will still improve, Tragician’s Hat might be just a start for a great career, but this indie group already deserves all the praises, because they’ve created a stunning collection of truly beautiful and captivating music. If you don’t know a thing about finnish pop music, this album would be a good place to start. Tragician’s Hat deserves to be heard.
♥β♥   Tragician’s Hat contains ten beautifully and well arranged songs. A huge part of their magic has always been the depth of their material. Yes, the heart of the song can be a simple delicate melody that gives the music an easy–flowing feeling, but there’s also so much depth and emotions in the songs. And even with the amount of detail and production ideas, it never sounds too massive. The saxophones, flutes and french horns are not taking the lead role, they just add another level and flavours to these well crafted songs. And what about the songs. Well these songs will easily reach your heart. White Noise and Guillotine. Either one of them could be my song of the year. At the moment it would be Guillotine. Quiet but still dynamic moments full of melodic charm and Samae’s sweet voice on top of that make the songs go into deeper than where any doctor could reach. Guillotine’s verse is probably just something too sad & beautiful. Strangely named Tina Turner Shitting Position is a wonderful pop tune and one of the catchiest songs on the album. And the ending. Oh dear how perfect it is. ♥β♥   Although I do admit Nathaniel & Isabel was one of the only songs I didn’t love on the first listen. Perhaps the complexed and almost proge–ish structure was a bit too much at first. But a guess it had some reserved catchiness in it, because nowadays I love the song and the story of Nathaniel and Isabel is a perfect ending to a perfect record. All the songs would be worth mentioning, because there really are no mishits. Tragician’s Hat is sincere, captivating and full of warmth and comfort. Pure magic. The cover art and inlay drawings (by Ilja Karsikas) are also very lovely and fit so well to this music.
♥β♥   A guess that’s all I’m able to say. I’m not able to put it into words just how much I love Sister Flo’s music. All I’m able to do is to put my headphones on, hit the play button and watch the sleeping city below where everything is standing still. Only one local drunk is trying to find his home after a night in a bar downstairs. I can see only darkness, but there’s light in my heart. That’s because of you boys. Thank you. :: http://www.onechord.net/
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SISTER FLO
♥β♥   Sister Flo were a group from southern Finland, gathered together to realise their ambitions: writing songs and playing them to other people. The group consists of Samae Koskinen, Mikko Salonen, Antti Kaistinen, Jarno Alho and Janne Lastumäki.
♥β♥   “It all started for me with a home made cd handed down in 2001. A gentle recommendation that it’s ‘my kind of stuff’. I fell in love with Sister Flo that day. There was something going on that I hadn’t really heard before from my adopted new country. Yes, there was confidence and a knowing nod to reluctant heroes, but what struck me most was the sound was fully formed and it’s own thing. I started to look for the name and see if I could catch the band live…I can’t really remember where it was where I first saw Sister Flo, but people were beginning to take notice. Then came Boys Of Cat and Landcrabs so everyone could join the party. As relationships grew, a few pointers were emerging: this was a hat band (wooly mainly). There was shyness contrasted by an aggressive protectionist perspective, a way of doing things to mask the internal fragility. Something had to be nurtured and amongst the sweetness was slight paranoia. A love for Kiss tattoos and Queens Park Rangers was hidden within. A feeling of proving one’s worth to stay involved was oddly beguiling. It was often a lot of fun. They were different.
♥β♥   Months flew by and a drawn out process of little bits here and there resulted a long time later in Tragician’s Hat being made. These were heady times, but the wooly hatted brigade were capable of anything. I was in awe. The out of town boys played Helsinki shows and it was alwaysinspiring / intense / motronic / fuel / injected / bursts / of / character / building / excitement / jams / and / whirlwinds. Sister Flo rocked without using the conventional tools for rocking: a sigh, a hush, a brush on a snare then an explosion of noise. This characterises Tragician’s Hat as something else, whilst still delivering that overused term and requirement: timeless music. ♥β♥   Independent being a terrible moniker for anything musical, but if that is your want, this is your high benchmark of that righteous expression, a jewel in the mire. My memory fails me as to why Sister Flo did not become world beaters (tragedy was in the air like ether). If one band were meant to ‘happen’, surely it was these guys? Looking back, it’s inconsequential, a mere footnote. Sister Flo were not put on planet earth to lead some Finnish invasion or pathe the way. Sister Flo simply mattered and sometimes that’s enough. Tragician’s Hat is all the proof you need.”Nick Triani, July 2014.
♥β♥   If there were any justice in the world, Tragician’s Hat would be recognised worldwide as a classic album of its time. Released in 2004 it marked a landmark in Finnish independent music movement with wistful guitars, seemingly effortless hooks and one of those rare records that fits together perfectly as a whole. It’s been reissued by our friends at Soliti with a bonus disc to celebrate its tenth anniversary.
♥β♥   Tragician’s Hat is an album based around the concept that less is more. Think of early Belle And Sebastian, the simple abandon of most of Teenage Fan Club’s Bandwagonesque and elements of 1980’s REM and you’d be along the right lines. ♥β♥   Beautifully hushed guitars, flashes of sax, sparse but expressive drum patterns run throughout this record, that, lyrical references to Bill Clinton apart, sounds like it could have been written any time in the last twenty years, but which still feels contemporary and not in the slightest dated unlike so many albums of its time.
♥β♥   As you’d expect from that description, the lyrics are laced with romanticism and a sense of wistfulness — opener Four Souls is built around the catchline “It used to be a place of love, but now it’s only four walls” before a sax kicks in for a few seconds and lead track White Noise talks of “we love thunder, we love rain and we love life”.
♥β♥   There are tinges of experimentalism though as the record progresses. Bill And Jesus (Black) has bizarre references to “Bill Clinton on the radio, in a fast car with a saxophone. Black Jesus in the rodeo testing bulls with a microphone”. And they have possibly the best, and strangest, song title we’ve heard for a while in Tina Turner Shitting Position. Sadly, there’s no reference to the great lady’s bathroom habits in the lyrics, but it, along with the subsequent They’d Better Build A Dam To Field Island, a nod to the underlying kookiness and off–kilter sensibilities of the band.
♥β♥   The second disc contains five out–takes from the original album sessions which show that the band were a formidable writing force as all five could equally have displaced songs from the album proper, three songs from their Proper Kites EP that came out the same year as well as a couple of live tracks that showcase their heavier, fluid live sound.
♥β♥   It’s an album for a warm summer’s evening, an album for any mood, a comfort blanket of joyful pop music with playful twists. If it had to come out on one of the hip UK independent labels of the time it would be fawned over to the day. This modest reissue won’t change that, but it might open a few people’s eyes to a genuinely beautiful record.
Label: http://solitimusic.com/
Website: http://www.manna-music.com/
MySpace: https://myspace.com/sisterflo
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sisterflo
♥   Soundi.fi:n lauantaisoittolistasarja, osa numero 32! Tänään soittolista nivoutuu toimintansa jo lopettaneen Sister Flon kymmenen vuoden takaisen ja syyskuussa kymmenvuotisjuhlapainoksena uudelleenjulkaistavan Tragician's Hat –levyn ympärille. Soittolistalla liuta albumin teossa inspiraationa toimineita kappaleita ja soittolistatirehtöörinä yhtyeen laulaja Samae Koskinen.
♥   "Vanhukselta kuulostamisen uhalla sanon, että elimme musiikin kuluttajina hyvin erilaista aikaa kymmenen vuotta sitten. Äänitteitä ostettiin levykaupoista ja vinkkejä uusien bändien löytämiseksi etsittiin ulkomaisista lehdistä kuten Mojo, Uncut ja Select. ♥   Asuimme basisti Mikko Salosen kanssa samassa asunnossa Riihimäellä, kuuntelimme taukoamatta musiikkia ja uuden löytämisen riemu oli päivittäistä. Kosketinsoittaja Janne Lastumäki kuunteli iskelmää, jazzia ja kokeellista musaa ja auttoi sen maailman perkaamisessa.
♥   Tällä soittolistalla on paljon 1960–luvun lopun lauluja ja niiden koen olevan keskeisessä asemassa Sister Flon oman musiikin kehityksen kannalta. Tietty harmonisuus näytteli suurta osaa bändin touhussa. Selkeitä varkauksiakin tapahtui: yritimme pölliä The Wholta kitarariffin Feathersin loppuun ja The Byrdsin Draft Morning –biisin komppi lainattiin They'd Better Build A Dam To Field Islandiin.
♥   Walesilaisbändit Super Furry Animals ja Gorky's Zygotic Mynci olivat koko bändin suuria suosikkeja. Heidän levyillään saattoi tapahtua mitä tahansa. Jotenkin (silloin) modernin äänimaiseman ennakkoluuloton yhdistäminen klassiseen popsäveltämiseen kiehtoi ja pyrimme samaan." :: http://www.soundi.fi/uutiset/lauantaisoittolista-sister-flo-songs-inspired-tragicians-hat
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Sister Flo Tragician’s Hat [Anniversary Edition]

 

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