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Thursday, 17 May 2012

Griff says: California Über Alles - It's Eva on the Western Castle Island

I think we've probably got a unique combination of nationalities in a pop group for you tonight. If you know differently get in touch, but as far as we know Eva on the Western Castle Island are the only Finnish/Malaysian indie-pop group out there. The Finnish contingent is Ilkka, Eero and Martin who met in High School and who have been playing together ever since. In the spring of 2011, the boys found Eva through an advertisement she had posted on an internet music forum. Eva is a Malaysian/Chinese singer who had been singing as a professional in her homeland of Malaysia but had become disillusioned. Deciding that she needed a change, she moved to Finland, where her sister lived, and the rest is history.

Eva on the Western Castle Island have so far released only three singles; Shooting Stars & Satellites, 夏之恋 (Happy), and the nicely named PandaWonder - 奇幻熊猫. All of the songs are available as free digital downloads on their bandcamp page. Eva, as may be apparent from the song titles, sometimes sings in English and sometimes in her native Chinese. Her vocals give the band a distinctive Asian pop influence that sits nicely with the boys indie-surf accompaniment.
The line-up of the band is:
Eva Wong - Vocals
Eero Vesterinen- Bass, Vocals & Backing Vocals
Ilkka Saarinen - Guitar & Backing Vocals
Martin Linnankoski - Drums & Percussions

If you're wondering where the band name comes from, the surnames above give a clue, well to Finnish speakers anyway. Apparently, Eero’s surname of Vesterinen translates as Western, Martin’s surname, Linnankoski contains the word linna, which translates as castle, and Ilkka’s surname is Saarinen, containing saari, which equates to island. OK, that all clear now?

Anyway, the band recently got in touch to tell us about an acoustic video they have recently filmed for one of their new songs, California Shrills. I wanted to share it with you as I thought it was rather sweet. The band play on a raft, colourfully decorated with rugs and pot plants, on a freezing cold day on a small lake opposite, what looks like, a power station. It all seemed so whimsical, and featured such charming melodica playing, that I had to share it with you:

I hope you enjoyed that, I know I did. As well as bandcamp, the band can be found on tumblr, soundcloud and Facebook.


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