Jaakko Eino Kalevi

"Jaakko Eino Kalevi"

(Weird World); Synth Pop

By ​Phil ​Bennett

A former Helsinki tram driver, Kalevi began his career the DIY way - independent releases, low budget recording and an economic use of the tools at hand.

This self-titled album, though not his first, can be considered a debut in that he has now reached a point where his sound has been refined to how he wants to present himself, with all the loose ends trimmed and snipped.

What that sound is defies easy pigeonholing but, suffice to say, it’s wispy, cool bordering on chilly, and evocative of wide open spaces.

Much like the view from his tram, one would imagine.

There are some nice touches in the arrangements, with synthesised bubbles and intriguing keyboard and guitar lines providing some hallucinatory colour to the rhythmic beats that hold the tracks together.

Insidious melodies and succinct lyrics abound, particularly on the rippling Say and the fresh and sharp Mind Like Muscle, and there’s no shortage of hummable melodies to stay in your head.

There’s something very likeable about this album - it’s a bit dreamy and light, like a cloud nudged forward by Kalezi’s breathy vocals and quietly restrained instrumentation.

Subtly charming.

​Phil ​Bennett

Musician, actor, singer, music reviewer, Phil’s interests cover a lot of bases and this is reflected in the music he writes about. From blues to soul, ambient to electronic, Phil writes about artists he feels are interesting, true to their craft and worthy of your ears.