Whenever I talk about Scandinavian Soul I often refer to the individual countries encompassed – Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Finland – and the latter always provokes a raised eyebrow. It then feels great to be able to reveal the Finnish names who are working hard in the genre of soul such as Jo Stance, Tuomo and now I can add Oaklyn to the list… of course, I also refer them to this website for more information!
Oaklyn is a fresh Finnish collaboration between producer Sami Tammela (producer-keyboardist) and singer-songwriter Linda llves.
The Helsinki-based duo’s debut album “Chasing the Sun” was released June 1st 2012 and is described as a mix of hip hop, jazz and electronic music creating a unique mixture of nordic soul, but is it?
The album opens with Get On and I’m immediately reminded of another Finnish band Quintessence, who split far too early in my opinion in 2005, so hearing this is a good thing, a very good thing. It’s late lounge soul with a cool vibe that you can expect to hear in the background of the trendiest bars and coolest fashion stores.
Linda llves sounds soulfully soft, almost hauntingly so and lyrically good. The bassline in Agree to Disagree for example is tight, but my favourites are We could Last, Waitin’ feat Ekow and the album’s title track Chasing the Sun.
Now I admit, F worded raps always sit uncomfortably for me when it appears on a predominately laid back album like this, and sadly I was reminded of this whilst listening to We Nuts feat. Ekow. The balance didn’t gel for me and felt unnecessary however it’s one of the funkiest tracks on the album with a wonderful production so it definitely shouldn’t be skipped either.
Overall this release is an exciting and deliciously cool debut that proves this duo has the potential to go far.