The Holy's Mono Freedom album revelled in it's own tales of imaginary dystopia, echoing 2020s reality. Mikko Maijala from the band talks us through his curated playlist for OQM.
Revered as one of the finest live bands to come from Finland in recent times, The Holy have just released their second album Mono-Freedom. Despite being conceived well before we’d even heard of coronavirus, the album is in some ways a fitting soundtrack to these fraught, pandemic times.
Inspired by Alan Weisman’s book The World Without Us – which imagines a world where humans suddenly disappeared, Mono Freedom is also self described as a “utopian themed album” – chiming perfectly with our collective sorrows and the dissociative nature of 2020.
One of The Holy’s two drummers, Mikko Maijala, compiles a playlist for OQM. Featuring all time favourites alongside new discoveries, some of these song have perfectly soundtracked Mikko’s lockdown time.
Girl Band – ‘Going Norway’
A band that has created a completely unique sound. One of my favorite bands right now.
Crack Cloud – ‘Drab Measure’
This band also falls into the category of “one of the most interesting bands at the moment”. They’ve clearly taken a lot of influences from old krautrock bands, but also created a very peculiar sound. The visual world of the band is also very fascinating. I recommend checking out Crack Cloud’s music videos.
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – ‘Rings of Saturn’
A Master. From year to year great records arrive. Here’s one example of a perfect song from a perfect album.
Iceage – ‘Beyondless’
The final and title track off a great record . Singer Elias Ronnelfelt‘s interpretation is fascinating. I feel the post-punk influences aren’t as prominent as before and the band has managed to develop their own distinctive music, album after album.
Fontaines D.C – ‘A Hero’s Death’
This Irish group has rightly received significant attention around the world. The influences are strong, but the distinctiveness of their sound still carries.
Protomartyr – ‘My Children’
I would argue that the hottest post-rock/post-punk bands at the moment have taken inspiration from these gentlemen. They’ve paved the way for new entrants in this genre. A wonderful track that’s still managed to retain it’s pomp. Also, a big influence on myself right now.
Död Mark – ‘Misstag’
Jonathan Håstad (better known as Yung Lean) jumps off the edge of Sad Boy Rap. The album is really compelling material that’s hard to categorize or compartmentalise.
Caribou – ‘Sunny’s Time’
Caribou is a pioneer in his field. New album Suddenly was released around the same time covid-19 became widespread. From this record, time has emerged for myself. I ended up listening to ‘Sunny’s Time’ very much during this year.
Mount kimbie, King Krule – ‘Blue Train Lines’
A perfectly successful collaboration. A really convincing interpretation from King Krule. Great and stunning drum work.
King Crimson – ‘Model Man’
Favorite records from my youth to which I have returned to after many years away from them during this year. While many people specifically like the 1970s as the golden age of King Crimson, for me, the King Crimson of the 1980s has become “that most important era of King Crimson.”
Lorenzo Senni – ‘Discipline of Enthusiasm’
One of this year’s most important electronic music releases. This album’s first single is still playing hard.
Bonnie Raitt – ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’
Classic. A great song that I come back to at regular intervals.
Elliott Smith – ‘Pictures Of Me’
Elliott Smith has had a big impact on my musical growth. These songs will be listened to a lot in the near future. RIP.
PJ Harvey & John Parish – Black Hearted Love
This particular record (A Woman A Man Walked By) has never been a favorite of mine amongst Harvey’s catalog, but this song has traveled along with me from year to year. PJ Harvey is also a great source of inspiration.
Kelly Lee Owens – ‘Re-wild’
The recently released Inner Song album made a big impression. An artist I didn’t know much about. The album also includes John Cale.
Kali Malone – ‘Spectacle Of Ritual’
A perfect sounding song. Just an organ. Malone creates an incredibly beautiful world on this record with his minimalist style.
Grouper – ‘Heavy Water / I’d Rather Be Sleeping’
The first song that I’d ever heard from Grouper. Perfect atmosphere. Stunning dreamy minimalism. Liz Harris has since released several publications as Grouper as well as with Nivhek.
Oneohtrix Point Never – ‘The Pure and The Damned’
From the soundtrack to Good Time. I heard the song the first time I saw the movie. Perhaps not the most obvious of collaborations between Oneohtrix Point Never and Iggy Pop. Perfectly beautiful song.
Jesus – ‘Birth day’
A wonderful combination of brutality, heaviness and a very beautiful soundscape. Justin Broadrick created a completely unique border-breaking sound for Jesus.
Oneohtrix Point Never – ‘Long Road Home’
Perhaps the most listened to song right now. I recommend watching the great music video by Keran.
Sonic Boom – ‘You’re the One’
A real classic. The perfect song from the perfect record.
Spacemen 3 – ‘Lord Can You Hear Me’
A classic from their album Playing With Fire, perhaps the one I listen to the most. It’s no coincidence that a lot of great projects sprung out from this band.