Fonal Records and Beacon Sound (USA) will release a new Lau Nau album titled “Aphrilis” on November 10, 2023. The album will be available digitally on all platforms, as well as on black and colored vinyl LP as a special edition.
The title of the Lau Nau’s 10th album, Aphrilis, derives from the Latin word aperire, meaning “to open.” A fitting verb for the month of the year it is closely associated with — April. And while the images of plants and blossoms coming back to colorful life after a long, cold winter feels appropriate when listening to the rich and lustrous bloom of music on Aphrilis, another definition of open feels even more apt. For under the abundance lies the memory of times of austerity, the friction of hard choices, the acceptance that nothing is fixed and the future is unknown. This literal and metaphorical exploration of complexity and contradiction makes Aphrilis a multi-dimensional antidote for our troubled times, one that emphasizes the quiet and communal over noise and spectacle.
Laura Naukkarinen, the Finnish artist behind this project, has long kept her mind and spirit open to whatever sounds and creative ideas felt appropriate for the moment. For the past six years that has meant primarily working with modular synthesis — learning how to build modules and releasing acclaimed work centered on its sounds like 5×4 (2023) or Puutarhassa (2022). Running parallel to this work, however, has been a continued exploration of acoustic instruments and group performances with her trio Lau Nau ja Seitsemäs Taivas.
Aphrilis arrives then like fresh growth in a creative season cycle. A companion to her brilliant 2017 release Poseidon, the album, says Naukkarinen, “felt like a needed moment to embrace songs with lyrics again.” And through the creation of this work, she remained open not only to her own creative muse, but also the input of her chosen collaborators. Each player on Aphrilis — Matti Bye on celesta and synths, Pekko Käppi on jouhikko, Hermanni Yli-Tepsa on violin and contrabass, Topias Tiheäsalo on electric guitar, Samuli Kosminen (Múm) on various instruments — was given free reign to arrange their own parts to accompany Naukkarinen’s compositions. Kosminen’s lush fingerprint can also be heard in the mixing and production of the album, as with Poseidon six years ago. The moniker of this project may be taken from Naukkarinen’s own name, but Lau Nau feels more like a band than ever before.
The delicacy and softness of the music is reflected in Naukkarinen’s lyrics. Each song is rife with imagery and creatures from the natural world. The spiders in the forest. The animals that keep a young woman company in her refuge in the woods. Wet grass. The feeling of the music is almost tactile, as if listening to the album will leave a bit of dew or sap on your fingers. The theme of this material, says Naukkarinen, runs even deeper. “The songs tell about cracks and changes of direction in different histories: personal, societal, planetary,” she says. “About moments when a yes can become a no and vice versa. The album wants to propose that at the moment of a crisis there is a possibility to influence the histories by our choices.” That may feel like a lot for such a fragile sounding collection of songs to bear. But Aphrilis is an album of surprising strength and resilience.
Kielet on viritetty tuuleen
Paratiisin kukkivat puut
Played, arranged and recorded by Laura Naukkarinen, Samuli Kosminen, Pekko Käppi, Hermanni Yli-Tepsa, Matti Bye, Topias Tiheäsalo 2019 – 2022
Composed by Laura Naukkarinen
Paratiisin kukkivat puut composed with Samuli Kosminen
Mixed by Samuli Kosminen / Ulappa
Produced by Samuli Kosminen and Laura Naukkarinen
Mastered by Jaakko Viitalähde / Virtalähde Mastering
Cover art by Pauliina Mäkelä
Layout by Andrew Neerman
Thank you for support Taike – Finnish Art Council, Samuel Huber Foundation
Cat no: FR-120LP