30 June 2015

Estonia #2: It's something in the water...

Switching few letters from the destination of the previous post and jumping to the country that comes alphabetically before it: Estonia. This is the second post for this Baltic country, with the first one being from this January. In the first Estonian music post I featured five songs, that were all in English. In this post you can hear the Estonian language too, since three of the five song are in Estonian.

Wikipedia: Estonia

(I was thinking about starting to add these small 'Did you know?' segments to some of my posts. I have had these kind of parts in my previous posts too, but now I will make them stand out more. At least I will try it out and will see what becomes of it.)

Did you know?:  The Estonian language sounds very similar to the Finnish language. Perhaps it is just an urban legend, but I have often heard it being said that Finnish language is linguistically more similar to Hungarian than to Estonian. As a Finnish person, Hungarian language makes no sense to me, but I can understand surprisingly lot of Estonian. Well, linguistics are an interesting thing so I would not rule it out this being the truth, just really hard to believe.

I have sometimes heard people saying that it would be interesting to hear their native language with the ears of a foreigner. This is obviously not possible, but the similarity of the Estonian and Finnish languages has made me realize that the closest you can get to this is by listening to a language that is similar to your native language but that you do not speak. This can give you a somewhat idea and is actually very interesting. I at least always find it interesting and a bit funny to listen to Estonian language because of the similarity.

But let's get to the music now:

First up we have Iiris. Iiris, birth name Iiris Vesik, was born in the capital city of Estonia, Tallinn in the summer of 1991. She started out her career in 2003 by taking part in a singing competition Tähtede Laul, where she placed third. She participated in another competition too, but it was not until 2010 when she hit famous after performing at Tallinn Music Week. This gained her attention around Europe and she released her first, and so far unfortunately the only, studio album in 2012.

The first song from Iiris is Tigerhead. This song was released in 2013 and is currently her most recent single. It belongs to the genre of pop music, but by listening to it you can notice it is not your typical pop song. The music video for the song won an award for the best music video in the Estonian Music Awards. This I definitely can understand, since the music video looks very nice.

Tigerhead was the very first song I heard from Iiris and to anyone who knows me it should not come as a surprise that I really liked this song. It is weird in a stylish way and pop in an alternative way. Obviously the Japanese inspiration, particularly in the music video, has its affect on me too. I find this song soft and hard at the same time. I really like Iiris' vocals and the music has a magical feel to it, like the entire song overall too. I can see why some people would not like this at all, but me it hits hard. I find it very creative and interesting.

Iiris' style is definitely what gets her noticed; it is just not the sound of her music, but the styling continues to her looks too. Yes, it can get a bit weird, but in my opinion she is weird in a stylish way. Some have made comparisons to other Estonian singer Kerli (who I featured in the previous Estonia post), who also has this interesting style thing going on. Makes me wonder what they put into the drinking water down in Estonia, haha! I find Iiris a gust of fresh air in the field of pop music and I really like her style.

The other song from Iiris is called Melyse. It was released as a single in 2011. The title is a female name, though a pretty rare one, I believe. This song too continues (or can you say continues when this song was released before the previous one) Iiris' style, though this one is a lot darker than Tigerhead.

Melyse has a bit creepy atmosphere and it is almost kind of psychedelic. I obviously like this a lot and find the song very interesting, since I have a tendency to like weird and creepy things. Lots of the creepiness comes from Iiris' voice, though the music is quite creepy too. The beat is actually very strong and I can feel it deep down in my spine. It is a very catchy song, in a better and in a worse. The music video fits very well the messed up feel of the song, though it still manages to remain stylish.

Tigerhead is from Iiris' 2013 EP Chinaberry Girl and Melyse from her 2012 debut album The Magic Gift Box.

Next up is a song from a smaller-scale artist: Ketlin. Ketlin, whose full name is Ketlin Sulli was born in Pärnu, which is a coastal city and popular summer vacation destination in southwestern Estonia. Ketlin has been doing music for at least couple of years. That is pretty much all I can find on her. This is the problem when it comes to blogging about smaller artists: There is not much information available on them. Well, it does not stop me from blogging about them, since the important part is the music anyway!

This song from Ketlin is called Ära Vea Mind Alt. It was released in 2014 and Ketlin wrote the lyrics herself. The title means 'do not let me down' in English and even though as a Finnish person I can understand surprisingly much about the lyrics (or so I think) I do not think I should start trying to translate them. But I believe it is fairly sad song. I believe the music video is shot in Ketlin's hometown Pärnu, though I could be wrong on that too.

Ära Vea Mind Alt is a fairly typical Eurodance song, though in my opinion a very good one. I could definitely hear this playing in a some club (though what do I know since I have never been to a club). Ketlin's other songs belong to this category too, though Ära Vea Mind Alt is by far the best in my opinion. Perhaps understanding some of the lyrics makes me like it more, since it feels emotional to me.

Last up is Grete Paia. Grete was born in 1995 in a town called Kuressaare, which is located in an island called Saaremaa. (I feel very stupid now, since I only just realized that there is two big islands off the coast of Estonia. I am such an idiot, *facepalm*.) Grete is a singer-songwriter, who started her career in 2011. Her most notable appearance is taking part on Eesti Laul 2013, in which she placed second with her song Päästke Noored Hinged. I was not much of a fan of her Eesti Laul song, but later on I listened to her other music and obviously liked what I heard.

The first song from Grete is called San Sebastiano. This song was released as Grete's second single in 2013. The title of the song refers to a holy hill, somewhere in Italy I believe. The lyrics are about a relationship, though I am not entirely sure if it suppose to be a sad or a happy song; to me it sounds a bit like both.

I like the sound of this song and it somehow reminds me of standing in a wind or something (well, that is a bit random feeling to receive from a song o_O). The music is very nice, but Grete's singing is my favourite part. Overall the song feels quite emotional to me. This is my favourite song from Grete and it is actually that kind of song that makes me like it more each time I listen to it. By this point that is already a lot.

This other song from Grete is called Lõpp Sellel Lool. This was Grete's debut single and it was released in 2011. She co-wrote the lyrics and made the melody to the song. The title means something along the words 'end of the story' and it is (surprise, surprise) a break-up song, in which Grete is breaking up with somebody.

I really like the music of this song; it somehow feels sad, somehow strong. Like she would be sad and happy at the same time; There is actually a bit of uncertainty in the lyrics. The song is quite simple, but still powerful. Grete's singing makes the song feel emotional and overall I find this song very beautiful. I think her voice suits perfectly this type of music, song with beautiful melody and meaningful, somewhat sad lyrics.

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