12.1.2021 Pihka is My Name @ Camden Live Lockdown Streams (#36)

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When the coronavirus hit in 2020, livestreams became the big new thing in seeing music while maintaining a social distance. As of 2021, streams are still upcoming, yet the availability is not so saturated as it once was. As such, when we got word that PIHKA IS MY NAME would be participating in Camden Live Stream‘s 36th episode of their lockdown streams on January 12th, 2021, we thought it would be a fine chance to listen to more of this band’s music. Being familiar with some of their earlier singles, we knew this ambient electronic band definitely have the potential to put on a good show. The show can still be found on YouTube here (the band appears at 44:50, participating around 54:00).

The show is hosted by a cheerful, if a tiny bit overbearing fellow who asked the band a few questions about themselves, such as the meaning of “pihka” in English and how the band got their name and developed their sound. Lasse Turunen and Henna Helasvuo, the masterminds behind the band, are the definition of the quiet-yet-enthusiastic Finn, as they show the very traditional Finnish shyness, but it’s extremely endearing when coupled with their enthusiasm for what they do.

First things first: shame on me for taking so long to watch this! I’ve really enjoyed their sound from the first time I heard “Binaries,” so I have no excuse. If you like ambient music, creative electronica, or music that tells a story, this band definitely has some potential to belong on your playlists. Turunen and Helasvuo mix sounds together as if they share the same musical mind, executing each song expertly, to create a wonderful soundscape around to envelop the listener. The songs move like a troubadour tells a tale, with vocal parts – occasionally electronically modified – to assist in moving the songs along. There are great dance beats but they’re packed with emotion and never get too generic or repetitive. Everything sounds curious, a little bit psychedelic, and a lot… thoughtful? You can definitely get a sense of the lonesome yet curious imaginary robot, looking in from the outside.

They open with a two-song medley of “Binaries” and “Algorithm and Blues” followed by a song that they said might go on forever if they get into the right zone, “Assembly Out of Line,” and finally “+/-.” This set is piano-driven from the beginning, with a moody yet innocent feel to it. It’s easy to close one’s eyes and go into a trance, just enjoying the song’s motion as it builds up. The song rises and mellows out again, never once getting dull. They have some interesting conversations after the set wraps up as well, talking about things like Finland being the origin of the sauna and how the weather had been approaching -19 (C) here.

Ultimately, I can’t recommend checking this band out enough! Their music is absolutely delightful to listen to and the two artists behind the band have such great chemistry. They have an album coming out in March and it’s something you should definitely keep an eye open for!

Watch online here:

Setlist

  1. Binaries
  2. Algorithm and Blues
    interview
  3. Assembly Out Of Line
  4. +/-

Photos taken as screenshots from the Camden Live Stream

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