BIG STIR RECORDS is proud to announce the upcoming release of a brand new album from Finnish guitar pop legends THE BABLERS. PSYCHADILLY CIRCUS is out May 29 on CD and all digital formats, and is up for pre-order now at www.bigstirrecords.com/store
(and streaming everywhere as of the street date). The album features 15 new tracks, including the recent singles “Love Is Everything!” and “Queen Of Yesterday”, and brings their time-tested talent with hooks and studio savvy into the 21st century.
THE BABLERS have been hailed as “the Finnish Supergroup of Pop” for a good reason. Each individual band member – songwriter/vocalist Arto Tamminen (bass, drums, guitars, keyboards, cello, percussions, vocals), Janne Haavisto (drums, vocals), Pekka Gröhn (bass, keyboards, vocals), and Hannu Pikkarainen (guitar, vocals) – holds at least one Finnish Grammy for their musical work outside the band. Their musical chemistry has a long, rich history, though. The original group kicked off their career as teenagers storming the late-'70's power pop and new wave scene in their native land, standing out from the crowd by singing their Merseybeat-inflected originals in English. They would go on to release an LP, 1980's What's All About (a delightful live video for the title track can be found on YouTube for a look at our heroes in their early days) and a few now-highly-sought singles before separating. A literally-big-in-Japan reunion record in 1998, Like The First Time, proved resoundingly that the band's sound transcends any single era and set the stage for future endeavors. And in the past few years, a series of singles have hinted at yet a third wave of BABLERS activity.
PSYCHADILLY CIRCUS more than delivers on the promise of the decades past. Bookended by versions of the recent, Lennon-esque hit “Love Is Everything!” (the latter a period-perfect Sixties-stereo-spread remix), the album presents a wide array of moods reflecting the span of the band's career. Tamminen is, after all, no longer the “Angry Young Man” of whom he slyly sings on the tune of that name, and the lovely, jangling “When You Were Growing” is a cross-generational conversation of true maturity dedicated to Arto's parents. But there's ample youthful joie-de-vivre here, as on the title track, which is just as giddily dense and trippy as one might hope, and the pop-rock waltz “Queen Of Yesterday” takes a nostalgic swipe at those who live in the past to the exclusion of today. All of which is to say that this album is the work of a band moving its remarkable legacy forward.
A laser-sharp focus on songcraft and the long history of collaborative experience color the variety of tunes on hand. Stately ballads like “All Because Of You” and “Some Tears” are delivered with the aching sympathy they demand. Harmony-laden rockers like “I Hope It Wouldn't Rain Tomorrow” and the aforementioned “When You Were Growing” practically levitate, as does the breezy stroll of “Walking On Sunny Beach”. Elsewhere, electric piano drives the groove-based “Unidentified” and “Love To Live” in the best '70s AM tradition, and nimbly fingerpicked acoustic guitar defines the immediacy of the longing “Where Were You My Friend”, the chilling “Child Of War”, and the optimistically benedictory “Singing With The Bluebird”. It all adds up to a heady brew, and an encyclopedic tour of the whole of rock and pop history, crafted by a band who knows it, chapter and verse – a kaleidoscope that keeps revealing new horizons with every spin.
THE BABLERS of today remain a no-nonsense pop band with an attitude. What you hear is what you get, they insist: “If you hear drums, guitars and pianos, they are drums, guitars and pianos, played by the members of the band. No autotune. No samples. Just 100% genuine handmade organic pop music.” The band's philosophy and modus operandi are simple. The songs are in the center. Everything's done in the name of a good pop song. Creativity and boldness are cherished. But most of all, Tamminen says, “It’s always great fun and a privilege to be able make music with good friends – the most talented and crazy bunch!”
For Tamminen, one key thing keeps THE BABLERS an ongoing concern. “All of us can do many different things,” he says. “We're all producers. We can play cross instruments on different tracks and there are no egos in the studio. The basic thing that keeps us going – besides mutual respect, odd humor and friendship – is the songs. We want to record them in the best possible way. We are suckers for a good song.”
On the new album, the band delivers one good song after another, each now imbued with the spirit of the teenagers who formed the band all those years ago, and the seasoned, sensitive musicians they are now. And they have plenty more to say and play. PSYCHADILLY CIRCUS has come to town... you're going to want a front row seat.