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"A Finnish electro-folk-pop duo specialized in writing timeless songs with female vocal harmonies that sound as they came from the head of Zeus."
Finnish indie pop stalwarts Jessika Rapo (vocalist for Le Futur Pompiste) and Henry Ojala (ex-drummer for Cats on Fire) teamed up to form the shambly, synthy duo Burning Hearts in 2006. Burning Hearts' debut full-length, Aboa Sleeping, was released on Shelflife Records in early 2009. Aboa Sleeping received a warm welcome and was called one of the top albums of 2009 by Eardrums and other like-minded music blogs. Rapo and Ojala followed up the album's release with a passel of live shows in Hamburg, Berlin, Stockholm and New York City.
After releasing two singles in 2010, Night Animal, featuring "A Peasant's Dream (Jori Hulkkonen Remix)," and a cover of Arthur Russell's "The Letter," the duo decamped to the Finnish countryside in Ostrobothnia and recorded a four song EP, Into the Wilderness, which was issued by Shelflife in June of 2011. The video for title track "Into the Wilderness," based on a documentary about Alaskan grizzly bears, spread quickly over the web and received a most warm welcome. The song was featured as mp3 and video of the day on spinner.com, and was supported by glowing reviews from Panic Manual, Pop Matters, and a host of others. In July, Burning Hearts was signed by Finnish label Solina Records who, together with Shelflife, will release the forthcoming album.
In fall 2011, they took a small break from the work, and Johan Ekstroem and Niko Kivikangas joined the band as the live line-up was refreshed. Burning Hearts played in Stockholm, Tallinn and did a few shows in Finland, only to return to the recording process.
The second full-length album, Extinctions, will be released on Februray 21st, 2012. All nine songs were written and recorded in the Ostrobothnian environment, which has proven to be fertile creative ground for Jessika and Henry. While Aboa Sleeping was a collection of early songs that were not intended to end up on an album, Extinctions was written as a consequence of many tragic stories that in a way or another touched the band. Quite a few of the songs are dedicated to people or creatures that no longer exist. Even if human tragedies inspired the writing, and death is present in nearly all the songs, the sound remains vivid and full of hope.
Extinctions is a co-release with Solina Records in Finland.
For fans of: Le Futur Pompiste, Broadcast, The Magnetic Fields, Stereolab, Brittle Stars
Praise for Burning Hearts:
"10/10 (Best album of the month): "The arrangements are impeccable and the melodies and harmonies are impressing. Hell, even the lyrics are good."
"I can't help but picture the whole record staged under a small, warm waterfall, something South Pacific with magically varying water pressure from song to song."
- The FADER
"Burning Hearts' second full-length "Extinctions" is a treat. Delving into description disguised as heavy-handed metaphor would be a disservice to such a carefully crafted, thoughtful album, so I'll simple start with a hearty 'wow'"
- It's A Trap
"Extinctions is the kind of album that wraps itself around you like a heavy blanket on a chilled winter night, full of comfort and protection against the cold world."
- All Music
"There's a connection, an intimacy in these songs that is palpable, where two artists at the peak of their powers are almost in telepathic contact. You can almost feel yourself transported to an arctic wilderness or some tropical haven."
"Brilliant and undeniably beautiful"
- We Are Helsinki
"Check this band out without a hesitation"
"the songs are all packed in a warm shape and they spread a lot of hope"
- Eden is Neon
Catalogue number: LIFE082
Pressing: limited edition LP: 500 copies on 180 gram vinyl
Artwork by: Kea and Emil Bertell
1. On the last Day of the Decade
2. Into the Wilderness (mp3)
3. Modern Times
4. Love and Dissonance
5. The Swallows
6. Burn Burn Burn (mp3)
7. Trade Winds
8. The Beast
9. Deep Waters
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Cover art hi-res