Jaakko Eino Kalevi – Out of Touch: “’80s beats and melodramatic instrumentation”

8.5/10


Jaakko Eino Kalevi is indeed Out of Touch. But so are most people whose music inspires such feelings of submissive reverence that you’d plead for them to create and head a cult, just so that you’d have an excuse to follow them wherever they may lead you (“I’ll do the flyers too??” I’d beg.) Kalevi’s breathy vocals and warm melodies distract you from attending to his lyrics. Though you’ll assume that they mean something. Something deep and profound. Something that you’ll never truly understand as a mere mortal who only speaks in unimpassioned breaths. Not to mention his appropriate aesthetic: messianic hair and a soul-reaching stare.   

The cover art says it all: Kalevi lies back, presumably exhausted from a hard day of miraculously fertilising a barren land.

It would be really easy to be cynical about Kalevi, from now on referred to as The Great Leader. The Great Leader blends together synthetic ‘80s beats and melodramatic instrumentation reminiscent of indie pop artists such as Infinite Bisous; one would label the sound most accurately as dream pop. And certainly, the lo-fi home-recorded aesthetic bears comparison to Homeshake. But The Great Leader played all the instruments on this album, and therefore carves out a very unique path that defies a typical allocation of genre. Songs such as ‘China Eddie’ would not be out of place as the soundtrack to the worst kind of hipster’s elevator whilst ‘Emotions in Motion’ could fool you into thinking that it’s actually a Flight of the Conchords sketch. But still, these songs seem to genuinely believe they constitute the most authentically beautiful soundtrack to love that can be heard by human ears, and that will always get props from me – if you’re a believer, you’re a believer.


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