MIKKO JOENSUU "Amen 1" [12" LP, Black Vinyl, Gatefold]
2016 - Rock/Folk from Finland
Mikko Joensuu is the kind of singer-songwriter who'l easily stand out from the crowd. His debut album "Amen 1" taps into the American folk music tradition, and it is all about deep and healing songs which at times give the listener an impression of spending time in quiet, intimate surroundings with people like Townes Van Zandt, Lee Hazlewood or Leonard Cohen. Arrangements are raw but beautiful: mostly just the piano and guitar accompany Mikko's voice, with pedal steel guitars and soothing string sections paying a visit every now and then. Mikko Joensuu's grand solo debut is three albums long, and with part 2 appearing in late 2016 and part 3 next spring, it forms the Amen Trilogy. Joensuu, who's spent some years in the proverbial wilderness after the split of his earlier combo Joensuu 1685, comments on the creation process of his magnum opus: "In the summer of 2012 I built a studio in a small cabin by a lake in northern Finland. I spent a month staring towards the lake, writing and recording. During that time I realized what I had was actually three different albums, all stemming from the same state of mind, expressing various sides to the same story. From the three, Amen 1 is perhaps the most fragile. It's an effort to find balance between great sadness and beauty, and to understand the very strange state when one's mind is close to collapse and yet at the same time more alive than ever."