From my adoptive Country, I now give you Lau Nau – an artist whose experimental folk have been highly appreciated among the Finnish underground music scene for over a decade. Lau Nau has always been a favourite of mine and, because her latest album Valohiukkanen has just been released, it gives me an excuse to write about her – not to mention that the album itself sounds magnificent.
Laura Naukkarinen was born in 1980 in Helsinki, Finland and currently lives on the island of Kemiö, in the South West of the Country. Under her moniker Lau Nau, she is not only been playing music, running a few music labels and publishing a magazine, but she’s also been engaged in other artistic activities, such as sound installations; therefore, Laura has been collaborating with a numerous amount of musicians and artists from the Finnish independent scene – the experimental singer and song-writers Islaja and Kuupuu for instance, friends of Laura’s, with whom she’s playing in Hertta Lussu Ässä.
The musician’s experimentations with art and sounds are a clear sign of her love for free structures: when it comes down to music, Lau Nau is a free spirit, who creates her pieces out of a complicated mosaic of instruments, strong melodies and a warm but delicate voice. It’s hard to compare her work with other musicians, but the ones that belong to her scene – the unique, experimental bunch of bands who play under the Finnish label Fonal Records.
Lau Nau‘s debut solo album Kuutarha (2005) and her second full-lenght album Nukkuu (2008) were released by Chicago’s Locust Music label: both of them are characterized by a beautifully complex collection of sounds, instrumental but also recorded outdoors – it’s especially pleasant to listen to Laura’s music when surrounded by nature, as it seems that they somehow belong together. Finnish lyrics also add a hint of peculiarity to Lau Nau‘s work, because of its sound and musicality – which you will especially feel if you’re not familiar with the Finnish language.
Besides Kuutarha and Nukkuu, there’s a list of EP’s and other special album editions – among them also a cassette edition of Nukkuu – which Lau Nau released before starting recording the new album; check out the complete discography on the artist’s website.
Valohiukkanen, Lau Nau‘s third and long-awaited album, has been finally released last November on Fonal Records, after various sessions of recording between Kemiö, Turku, Tampere and Stockholm. The beauty of it is that it still sounds as unique and experimental as the first two works of Laura: there’s the same complexity of instrumentation and peculiar association of noises and sounds of Kuutarha and Nukkuu, yet well combined with a new sense of rhythm and percussion, which makes it all more contemporary. In contrast with its texture of sounds, the mood of the record is quite dark and it reminds well of the atmosphere created by one another experimental Finnish band: Eleanoora Rosenholm.
Kuoleman Tappajan Kuolema – Lau Nau
enjoy Valohiukkanen and read more about Lau Nau on launau.com!