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Antti Reikko, singer-songwriter and guitarist of Finnish indie band Johnny Superhero, has released a splendid debut solo album under the moniker of koriakittenriot. He has a rather interesting list of influences, including Elliott Smith, Neil Young, Sufjan Stevens, Bright Eyes and The Flaming Lips among others.

KKR is a delightful blend of wistful, instrument-stuffed indie-pop. Reikko sings and plays guitar, mandolin, piano, glockenspiel, trombone, organ and other instruments. He recorded the LP himself on a shoestring budget, with Tuomas Lankinen from Johnny Superhero contributing drum tracks, and Eino Anttila mixing it up.

Lead track ‘The Earth Will Spin Around’ is a catchy tune with anthemic piano harmonies, a fantastically lighthearted anthem that is an absolute joy to listen to. It is a song that was born out of personal struggles with betrayal, yet it also offers a positive message in the form of a scientific metaphor; the Sun still shines and the Earth will keep spinning!

The other tracks on the LP are as melodic and thoughtful as the lead single. ‘Sea’ can transport you from the beach to a storm, and ‘Remain’ is an uplifting and hopeful song that reminds us of hope.

‘Songs of Hope and Science’ is a refreshingly positive start to the year, reminding us that life is still worth living despite all the problems we face. The uplifting lyrics are beautifully written and the gentle melodies accentuate their meaning, and while the songs don’t shy away from the tough stuff they do make you feel better about yourself and your situation.

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