Drowsy Suicide, Hockey, Vodka, and Indie Rock

by |
05/25/2005 10:00 AM |

A Czech once told me: “Finland is the land of legs.” Having been to Helsinki once briefly, I knew exactly what he meant. But with Growing Green, this 22-year-old Finn has created an album that has nothing to do with any of that. It has more to do with long winters alone in your bedroom and the Finnish propensity for fancy cell phones. Named Mauri Heikkinen by his parents, Drowsy spent a lot of time trying to keep in touch with his label from his home village of Joutseno, as he churned out this gorgeous, opiated debut LP. The 14 tracks were completely home-recorded over a three-year period as Heikkinen corresponded with FatCat in London. With that lengthy stretch in mind, the album still retains a unity of atmosphere. Many of the songs are whispered and accompanied solely by an acoustic guitar or piano, mirroring either a gentle or sometimes gruff wintertime feel. But the volume does get turned up for tracks like ‘Bright Dawn’, by far the most upbeat on the album and replete with an electric guitar freakout, and ‘Yellow Leaves & White Trees’, fairly up tempo, though still whispered to a ‘You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away’ guitar rhythm. For other highlights, see: ‘Careless Me’, which comes across as a careless child’s fairytale, or the black humor on the slow, yet drunkenly revelrous ‘I Died of Death’.