Finnish JOVM mainstays The Empty Mirrors publicly cite The Cure, The Smiths, PJ Harvey, Pixies and Suzanne Vega as major influences on their sound and approach — but generally speaking, the Finnish outfit specializes in a seemingly 4AD Records/Cocteau Twins-inspired sound.
If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past year or so, you might recall that the Finnish outfit had a collaborated with Welsh-born, Finnish-based singer/songwriter and musician Jenny Stevens, a.k.a. The Ukelele Girl over the course of a handful of singles including:
- “The River Rolls On,” an atmospheric track that seemed indebted to the likes of Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Cure and Cocteau Twins.
- “No, I Wouldn’t Call It Love,” an uptempo song that expresses aching nostalgia and longing.
- “Beneath Smooth Waters,” a slow-burning , Dummy era Portishead like song featuring glistening, reverb-drenched synth arpeggios and sinuous bass lines paired with Stevens’ plaintive vocals.
- “Unfinished Conversations,” a track that saw the restlessly experimental Finnish outfit pushing their sound in a new direction — towards the dance floor, while retaining their unerring knack for sharp hooks.
Earlier this week, I wrote about “Who Knows Where The Time Goes,” a slow-burning A Storm in Heaven-meets-4AD Records like song centered around shimmering and swirling guitars, atmospheric synths and a propulsive rhythm section. Adding to the dreamy feel of the entire affair, Glasgow-based, Hungarian-British singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Robert Severin contributes his gentle and vulnerable crooned delivery. The end result is a wistful and aching meditation on time, aging and mortality that feels like a gentle lullaby.
The Finnish act’s latest single “Shameless Tango” is a brooding and atmospheric mix of glistening and swirling Cocteau Twins and A Storm in Heaven-like textures paired with thunderous drumming, a sinuous bass line and Anastasia Kareva‘s yearning, pop belter-like vocal. The end result is a song that feels and sounds as though it draws from trip hop and goth simultaneously — while being accessible.
The accompanying video is fittingly campy and horror themed and features footage shot in a graveyard, the hand of a zombie pushing out of the wet soil, couples tango dancing, soldiers marching and more. It’s a unsettling and apocalyptic fever dream.