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Hailing from Helsinki, Finland, koriakittenriot is an indie-pop group that plays happy mixtures of alternative pop and americana with singer/songwriter influences. The band, which was started as a solo project by Antti Reikko in 2010, has grown into a five-piece touring band between their second and third album.

On Rich Men Poor Men Good Men, they deliver the kind of cheery, instrument-stuffed indie-pop that was so popular in the mid ’00s. The songwriting here reminds me of Elliott Smith and Sufjan Stevens in their most sensitive era, with touches of Cold Cold Arms and Death Cab For Cutie in there too.

There’s a lightness to the music here that allows you to take each tune for what it is, whether it’s a wistful ballad or a jubilant ode. At the same time, you’re still hearing a band that isn’t afraid to poke fun at life and at itself, as on the title track, “Songs of Hope and Science”.

It’s this underlying positivity that makes me want to keep going back to them for more, no matter what they’re writing about. It’s the kind of positive message that I need in my own life.

I can’t remember the last time that a song made me so happy and it was such a pleasant surprise to find out that Koria Kitten Riot were making such wonderful songs. They’ve become one of my favorite bands and I can’t wait to see them live.

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