Nykysuomalaisia idylliäänimaisemia, symboleja ja kipupisteitä populaarimusiikissa: tapausesimerkkeinä Lauri Tähkä, Vesala ja Tiisu
This article discusses current articulations of Finnishness in three different Finnish popular music recordings published during years 2015–17. Three songs were
selected for close listening: Lauri Tähkä’s song ‘Minun Suomeni’ (2016; “My Finland”), Vesala’s ‘Tytöt ei soita kitaraa’ (2016, “Girls don’t play the guitar”),
and Tiisu’s “Suomalaisen suurin riesa on sisu” (2015; “The greatest plague of a Finn is sisu/chutzpah/stamina”).
These songs are discussed in the article from three different analytical angles: first, by a consideration of the sound recording using the so called “sound
box” (Moore 1993) and “sound stage” design analysis (Moylan 2012; Richardson 2012) combined with art history’s concept of the “idyllic landscape” (Palin
1999; Ollikainen 2014). Secondly, the songs are analyzed using Billig’s (1995) concept of “flagging” nationality. Thirdly, some attention is drawn to critical
issues, or “sore points”, regarding the notion of Finnishness. My analysis shows that the “idyllic landscapes” rely on either epic proportions (Tähkä), repetitive
flow (Vesala), or tight, rock-influenced staging (Tiisu). All three songs use similar “flagging” symbols, but relate to them in different ways: Tähkä’s song with
reverence, Vesala’s song with a critical ear, and Tiisu with a high level of irony. The songs also reveal “sore points” in Finnishness. Tähkä’s song mentions its opposition to far-right nationalism and xenophobia. Vesala’s song offers a feminist point of view while critiquing the concept of “nostalgia”. Tiisu’s song paints a
bleak picture of Finnish alcohol culture and violence, inadvertently taking part in deconstructing as well as reaffirming the “laddish” masculinity cultures.
This article is a part of the project “Depictions of Finnishness in Finnish Popular Music from 2000 to Current Times”, funded in part by The Finnish