The ramshackle Kouvola based 3-piece Have You Ever Seen The Jane Fonda Aerobic VHS? release their second long play ‘Jazzbelle 1984/1988’ today, on January 19th.
The album is available in vinyl, CD and digital formats.
Across the course of 11 ‘flower-garage’ tunes, each catchier and more chaotic than the last, HYESTJFAVHS? establish themselves as one of the most exciting and infectious bands to come out of Scandinavia in recent years.
The trio have carved out a unique sound for themselves, opting to use keyboards instead of guitars. This is after songwriter Ekku Lintunen and drummer Janne-Petteri, on seeing the film Drive, instantly decided to form an 80s synth-pop band as a side project to the garage-rock act they were in at the time. When Susse Stemma-Sihvola came in on vocals, bringing her scuzzed out bass tones with her, it ended up being garage-rock with a twist.
They are further shaped by the aesthetic and sonics of the underground cassette culture punk bands in their small town of Kouvola rely on, as well as the thread of styles that have tied the towns musical history together through the decades. A mish-mash of 60s girl-groups, punk, glam, grunge and NYC/Manchester indie coming together to generate their electrifying style.
Lintunen likens his songwriting to crafting surreal movies. Starting with a picture in his mind, he throws out lyrical phrases to create this image for the listener. Enough is held back though that there are more questions than answers. Like all great films, the listener interprets as they do.
Throughout, the album is two-tone. At times playful, and pop-centric, at others darker, more intense. Across the 11 tracks presented HYESTJFAVHS? make whimsical references to He-Man, and Modern Family’s Phil Dunphy as well as including a track titled Hanky Panky. However, there’s also a sadder element – it’s a semi-breakup album, half the tracks written pre- and post-. Hence, there are explorations of both the excitement and disappointment of love.
After their debut album Teenage Sweetheart was released in autumn 2015 the trio have been praised in the international music media, and gathered fans around the world. This includes support from BBC Radio’s Huw Stephens, Steve Lamacq, Phil Taggart, Chris Hawkins and Tom Ravenscroft, and the likes of Consequence of Sound, Forbes, Drowned in Sounds, MTV Iggy, The Line of The Best Fit and Clash Magazine.
As well as the above media acclaim, they are routinely picked out as livehighlights at Europe’s buzziest festivals (Roskilde Festival (DK), Flow Festival (FI),Pohoda(SK), Reeperbahn Festival (DE), The Great Escape (UK), Farm Fest (UK), Kendal Calling (UK), Eurosonic (NL) and Europavox (FR).
1. Magic Swimming Pants
3. The He-Man Song
8. Hanky Panky
9- What Would Phil Dunphy Do?
10. Bambi Act
Music & Lyrics: Ekku Lintunen
Arrangement: Ekku Lintunen, Susse Stemma-Sihvola, Janne-Petteri
Mixing & Mastering: Santtu Vainio
Cover art: Ville Viinikainen
Format: vinyl, CD, digital