Review Summary: Katsomassa suomalaisia kenkiä
There are two things you need to know about Takaisin
. Firstly, Radio Supernova are a Finnish band with a Finnish vocalist who sings in Finnish. Got it? Good, because secondly, and most importantly: Radio Supernova are a shoegaze band. Thankfully, these two aspects, aided by some incredible musicianship, complement each other brilliantly. The record elegantly glides across eight tracks of sparkly guitar lines, snappy choruses, and an atmosphere dictated by reverb galore and the band’s ability to balance mystique with accessibility.
Personally, I don’t understand Finnish. At all. There’s not a word that seems to make sense to my simple, Germanic eyes; not a single combination of letters I would even attempt to pronounce. As such, there is a sense of mystique surrounding the language which Takaisin
brilliantly operationalises. It’s a perfect fit for Radio Supernova’s genre of choice, as shoegaze tends to find its ethereal strengths in the ability to make one float with wonder. Throughout the record, such heavenly elements are consistently intertwined with highly infectious melodies, grounding the overall flow while keeping individual songs hazily adrift. The opening cuts exemplify this instantly; ‘Tammikuu’ and ‘Väkivaltaa’ are highly catchy, with smooth riffs twinkling on top of a tight rhythm section, allowing Inkeri Riikonen’s magically woven words to add to the intrigue. Her voice is warm, demanding, and perplexingly distinguishable among the layers of fuzz, with the language of persistent vowels allowing for the album’s unique shroud.
While every song makes a strong case for itself with plenty of memorable moments, Radio Supernova truly transcend when allowing ample space for the music to breathe. ‘Kadoksiin’ carefully constructs itself upon a meandering, distorted hum that both swallows and amplifies every consecutive sound. It’s the perfect canvas for the song, as the midpoint blends a mysterious mixture of noises - birds? water? a severely depressed robot? - before dissolving into a shimmeringly abrasive conclusion. Similarly, ‘Utopia’ closes the album on its very best song, summarising the entirety of Takaisin
in a delightfully key-focused manner. Instrumentals shimmer as Riikonen’s vocals appear miles away and up close at once, solidifying a final reverb-soaked punch as the tempo builds to a finale that encompasses a gentle guitar solo, off-kilter drums and shimmering synths.
burns brightly with mystery, yet never lets the flame overshadow its grounded beauty. From bubbly, catchy numbers to songs that take their fuzzy time unfolding, Radio Supernova do not deviate from the paved roads of shoegaze, instead opting to explore the familiar grounds and subsequently excel at their chosen style. It’s a delightful album and a perfect opportunity to admire the Finnish language surrounded by dreamy music. En ymmärrä sitä ollenkaan ... ja siinä on sen kauneus.