In that their music brings to mind Teenage Fanclub and Love, it's hard to believe
that Finnish band Red Carpet aren't better known. Only the second release
for the four-piece, The Noise of Red Carpet
sequences like a
best-of compilation, leading off with the piped-in sports audience of "My
First Goal!" a reverie so genuinely fresh-faced it dispels any
tendency to label it twee or scoff at a song about childhood sports glory: "It's
been a while/ Well it took me some time/ To get used to it/ That I'll
never make it/ 'Cause dreams don't come true." Guitars, keyboards and
a siren wrap around the song's latter half, shutting down any illusions
of naïveté, sounding like, OK, Teenage Fanclub. It's a prime
But what I really like about The Noise of Red Carpet
is how polished, yet emotional, the music is. This seems characteristic of Finnish pop, at least based on both the music I've heard thus far, and what I've learned from the folks at One Chord to Another
, an excellent site where you can learn about Finnish pop (and where the record ratings are spelled out in hearts).
Something of a "super group" at home, Red Carpet share members with Laidun, Ultrasport (another band I really like, also on Japan import label Quince) and Sister Flo (a band I want to hear more of). Quince picked up The Noise of Red Carpet
(initially released in Finland by the popular indie label If Society), added a song ("Leave a Light On") and gave the art design a more vintage, vinyl-only appearance an ideal telegraphing of the classic pop influences inside.
"Sigh," with its pastoral oboe and near-dance of violin, recalls the Go-Betweens' catalog in its tone and in the idea replacing one lover with another. And the up-tempo "Blood, Sweat and Tears" affords one of the record's best moments: "'Blood, Sweat and Tears' on the radio/ So this is how your summer will go on/ Every day is a rainy day even your/ Thoughts are getting wet/ I can't believe what I just said." You smile when you hear the goofiness no doubt that's the intent. And the band obviously had fun writing the song, everyone all in with the radio chorus of ba-da-ba.
The Noise of Red Carpet
reminds me of when I first started listening to indie pop, buying the records and meeting people who knew more about the music than I did. I am pressed to remember the last time a record reminded me of the Sneetches and BMX Bandits (and, of course, Love and Teenage Fanclub). And how cool is that?