Helsinki, Finland based singer-songwriter Antti Reikko is the driving force behind Koria Kitten Riot. He is the man behind the acoustic guitar and sings the lead vocals. The KKR songs feature a mix of acoustic, electric and synthesizer instruments, as well as trombone work on some tracks.
Among Reikko’s influences are Elliott Smith, Neil Young, Sufjan Stevens, Bright Eyes, Wilco, The Flaming Lips and Jon Auer. He also lists a few other bands, such as Bishop Allen and French Films.
It is a good time for giddy, instrument-stuffed indie-pop. It has always been a bit of an under-represented genre, but the mid-’00s saw bands like Annuals, Decemberists, Grandaddy and The Shins pick up that torch with albums that were full of a sense of wonder and innocence.
The album Rich Men Poor Men Good Men, recorded in Berlin, embodies that ethos. The songwriting is delicate and thoughtful and the melodies are wistful but not overly so. The music is playful and reminiscent of the acoustic indie-folk acts of the ’00s, while at the same time it has a depth that makes you want to listen to it again and again.
The album’s title track, ‘Songs of Hope and Science’ is a perfect example of what this band can do. The lyrics are wistful and sad but the melody is optimistic, and the words point you in a positive direction, and remind you that there’s a reason to be happy in life.