It would be a lie to say that I’m especially fond of radio music in any of its forms, even Finnish iskelmä, where I’m more inclined to enjoy things than, say, the standard music of my homeland of Canada. However, there’s always been a soft spot in my ear-heart for the music made by Olli Helenius, whose name I know from OCEAN DARK. However, this was my first time hearing him singing in Finnish. “Syy” was released just today, February 18th, 2022, and immediately had to be a Featured Single.
This is one of those songs that caught my attention before I was able to figure out the lyrics. There’s something powerful and emotional in this track, though my initial impressions of the words did make me think that I need to listen more closely. There’s a very simple acoustic intro that is the main accompaniment to Olli‘s voice, in an almost stripped-down Arttu Wiskari -style, but perhaps more pleasant without the slightly nasal hint that Wiskari is known for. The song has a really great build-up to the chorus, which is extremely powerful with great use of electric guitars to kick the power and passion up without pushing the song out of the radio-friendly pop-rock style.
Then there’s the lyrics. I mentioned they had some kick to them, yes? Well, it’s a very empowering, uplifting song, about having a reason to live and laugh and love. The song name, “Syy,” means “reason” in English, which is very aptly chosen. This was one of those songs, as I said, that my limited instant comprehension of Finnish drew me to, so taking the time to listen and translate the lyrics was definitely worth it. For those of you who don’t have any knowledge of Finnish though, here’s a little taste of the chorus:
“You have a reason to be happy / You have a reason to dance freely / A reason to dream of love / and say it out loud for the first time / The wild heart roars like the sea / Scream out all your pain / A reason to get up to a beautiful morning / and shine.”
Proving that you don’t need big, epic production to get a point across, Olli Helenius has created a really beautiful song that packs a lot of oomph to it. Perhaps it’s time to check out more of his Finnish material while we wait to hear if there are any plans for a full album in the future!