Finnish Folk Metal Superstars KORPIKLAANI are set to release their new studio album Kulkija (“Wanderer”), on September 7th, 2018 via Nuclear Blast. Today, the band have unveiled the second single, ‘Harmaja’, in the form of a thought-provoking music video. Watch the clip, directed by Ville Lipiäinen (NIGHTWISH, BEAST IN BLACK, POWERWOLF), over on YouTube:
Says Jonne, “‘Harmaja’ is an unusual KORPIKLAANI song with its slow tempo and emotional strength. The song is about longing and I managed to charge it with a great emotional atmosphere. When making the album we mostly used the first takes; we didn’t get stuck in details when there was no particular need to. It was important for us to keep the emotion and mood at the forefront even if the technical side wasn’t absolutely perfect at times.
I was surprised – although in a positive sense – that Nuclear Blast wanted to release ‘Harmaja’ as a single and a video. Usually they prefer more uptempo, fun drinking songs. The new album Kulkija of course has that material too since being over an hour long it contains the entire scope of different emotions.
“I bought a new classical guitar and started to reacquaint myself with the 5-finger picking technique. I created a finger exercise that then formed the basis of the song. The exercise started to sound more and more like an actual piece of music and suddenly a melody came out of that. I sent a very basic version of the song to our lyricist Tuomas Keskimäki who, in the same evening, sent back the lyrics for ‘Harmaja’. The text refers to ‘Sylvian Joululaulu’, a well known poem about longing by Zachris Topelius. I sang the demo in my home studio immediately and that was it – the song felt good and strong right away and I knew that it was going to end up on the album.
“The video was shot in the pool of the Maritime Safety Training Centre in Lohja. The water was so cold that even constant visits to the sauna couldn’t stop the coldness from creeping into my bones. It was very difficult to remember the lyrics, keep my head above the surface of the water and sing – while at the same time trying to look like I wasn’t freezing to death. All for art!
“We managed to create a nice contrast in the video with the angel. Director Ville Lipiäinen found her accidentally while grocery shopping. I don’t know if he stumbled on her wings or what, but the angel also flew to the same pool in Lohja. The story is about a man missing his dead wife who then returns from the afterlife for one last goodbye, so that the poor man can go on with his life. He manages to drag himself out of the stormy waters back to dry land. Lipiäinen knew exactly what was needed for the video and managed to create just the right atmosphere. The shots change slowly, there is no rush with anything and the story stays just right above the surface until the more stormy ending.”
Tuomas adds: “An expensive repair was done for my long lost friend, a Collin-Mézin violin from 1896, giving it a new lease of life. It was used for the first time in ten years for this album and its sound exceeded all expectations. Harmaja is a good example of it. What you hear is basically the best of two run through takes combined.”
About ‘Harmaja’ (“The Grey”):
The blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla), the bird in the song, has been unable to migrate south because of a broken wing. The song depicts anxiety and the fading memory. A Finnish poet Zachris Topelius wrote in 1853 a poem titled ‘Sylvian joululaulu’ about homesickness which is referred to by ‘laulu kaipauksen’ (a song of yearning) in the song. The song can also mean the “grayness” when a partner of an old couple dies.
Pre-order Kulkija in various formats, here: http://nblast.de/
Stream or download the new single here:
Listen to the tracks in the NB Novelties Playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/
Kulkija will be available in the following formats:
– 2LP (black, yellow)
Kulkija – track listing:
02. Korpikuusen kyynel
03. Aallon alla
07. Kallon malja
12. Kuin korpi nukkuva
14. Tuttu on tie
With 14 tracks and a total running time of over 71 minutes, Kulkija is the group’s longest album to date. Working with producer Janne Saksa for the first time, the album was recorded at Petrax Studio (Hollola, FIN) and mixed at Sound Supreme Studios (Hämeenlinna, FIN). Mastering duties were handled by renowned engineer Svante Forsbäck (RAMMSTEIN a.o.). The cover was designed by Jan Yrlund (BATTLE BEAST, MANOWAR etc.), who has already created several artworks for previous albums and singles for the band.
Founding member Jonne commented:
“We’ve never been as satisfied with a final result as we are with Kulkija. We tried to keep it very natural. Like the wanderer, this album is a journey, one that makes you feel good.”
“Kulkija isn’t just a collection of songs, it’s a “real” album with a unique atmosphere guiding the listeners through a long journey. All songs were well prepared in advance and nothing needed to be arranged in the studio. Tuomas & I had lots of space to develop and play the folk arrangements.”
06.07. E Barcelona – Rock Fest
12.07. D Neukirchen-Vluyn – Dong Open Air
13.07. NL Amstelveen – P60 (w/ MYRKVAR)
15.07. CZ Vizovice – Masters of Rock (Special Show)
03.08. D Wacken – Wacken Open Air
15.08. PL Straszęcin – Czad Festiwal
18.08. D Dinkelsbühl – Summer Breeze
Kulkija – Release Tour
07.09. RUS St. Petersburg – Aurora (Release Show)
08.09. RUS Moscow – Glavclub (Release Show)
09.09. RUS Voronezh – Aura
11.09. RUS Rostov-on-Don – Arena
12.09. RUS Krasnodar – Arena Hall
13.09. RUS Samara – Zvezda
14.09. RUS Ufa – Ogni Ufy
15.09. RUS Ekaterinburg – Tele-Club
16.09. RUS Chelyabinsk – Galaktika
18.09. RUS Omsk – Angar
19.09. RUS Novosibirsk – Podzemka
21.09. RUS Irkutsk – Dikaya Loshad
22.09. RUS Vladivostok – San-Remo
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