The Finnish musician and singer-songwriter ERJA LYYTINEN is the queen of the slide guitar.
Her melody-rich blues songs — filled with rocky textures — have been charming audiences everywhere with those trademark brawny yowls of guitar, high-notes that seem to whistle directly from the icy Baltic drumlins; and a bite-sized singing voice that is suddenly vital when you least expect it.
We’ve described her bite-sized singing voice as ‘vital and fiery’ and her guitar-work as ‘a thing of wonder.’
Written largely during the pandemic era, Erja’s new studio album Waiting For The Daylight captures the feelings of self-analysis & soul searching that was compounded by the situation we all found ourselves in. The musician was able to take a moment, dig deep, and thoroughly process her emotions. This self-discovery served as inspiration for the artist’s most eloquent work to date. Erja dwells on topics like love, loss, heartache, and even retaliation, building onthe themes explored in her previous studio albums.
stuffed with impressions & perceptions, with smooth as silk vocals and tantalising snippets of sunburst guitar…Raw Ramp Music Mag
Waiting For The Daylight was recorded between Erja’s busy tour schedule in the first half of 2022, with the majority of the sessions taking place at the Hollywood House in Helsinki, Finland. Longtime bassist Tatu Back and drummer Iiro Laitinen joined Lyytinen in the studio. Harri Taittonen, who has played on each of Lyytinen’s albums since 2008, is featured on Hammond and keyboard once more.
Waiting For The Daylight exemplifies a new phase in Erja’s artistic and musical development. Erja experimented with sounds outside the blues-rock genre. She pushed the band and herself fearlessly, daring to tread further than they had gone before.
‘Bad Seed’ is a thumping stomp with slick silkmoth rhythms, a jazzy sub-surface, and super-high vocals. For those who prefer rubbing-stone bass notes and grinding slide, ‘Bad Seed’ is super-start to this album and something of a brandisher. But it also has its sways and, of course, that adorable mellow-sparkly voice. The centrepiece of the number is an aspirational prog-sounding guitar exposition. Provocatory!
‘Last Girl’ (the second single from the album, the music video is shared below) considers the topic of bullying which (as all survivors will know) is an acutely introspectional type of distress. So, this is a vorticity of fearful ice-sleet guitar glimmers that tend to counterrotate against a bullying, super-confident, and therefore imposing rhythm. Recalling (rearranging, perhaps) River Deep – Mountain High to begin with (at least) the style of vocal delivery resembles ordinary speech/thought patterns (improvisatory and free spirited) to reveal a stream of rememberings. The chorus is more of a conventional hooraw though, and it rocks the house! The guitar solo is candied citrus peel ice. A striking number!
‘Run Away’ is stuffed with impressions & perceptions, with smooth as silk vocals and tantalising snippets of sunburst guitar notes that are set against glam/pop-rock experimentals. This is ultra-vivid and wonderfully venturesome.
Check-out the forthcoming UK co-headline tour dates (see poster below) with Dom Martin.
Words: @neilmach 2022 ©
Main photo: Antti Karppinen