Lapsihymy ~ Collections 02

We’ve been championing the career of Finnish artist Lapsihymy since he was a teen, and with Collections 02 he’s continued to perfect his sound.  His mastering continues to be crisp and loud, his tunes enveloping, swirling like Amazonian butterflies.  He deserves to be as popular as Odesza, and he’s only a radio hit away.

It’s always been hard to pick favorites in Lapsihymy’s collections.  Whenever I choose one song, my girlfriend chooses another.  Then I like that song while she prefers the one I picked.  It’s a good problem.  At first “Wonder” seemed to be the standout cut, and was chosen for our article Ten Tracks That Sound Like Summer.  But then “Summer flying by in a dream” began to sneak up, and now I’m not sure.  The tracks also sound different in a car with the windows down than they do at home; the drums are more noticeable on the road, the ambience on the couch.  Suffice it to say that the tracks are of such even quality that nothing is likely to be skipped in playback.  The only downside, albeit slight, is the length of the fadeouts, a few seconds longer than expected.

So let’s start with that double-A single, “Wonder/Hope.”  As we’ve come to expect from Lapsihymy, the words indicate the mood.  With the world so tumultuous, it’s nice to have something to hold onto.  The repeated word “Happy!” is the attraction of Side A.  The helium voice is caught between a balloon and a squeaky toy.  It’s hard to resist, nor would one want to.  Other samples soon join the celebration: the percussion doubles in impact, the bass flows forward, and the effect is one of clean rapture.  The fact that the record exists separately as a 7″ only adds to the feeling of wonder.  Flip the vinyl (or allow the digital album to play), and one arrives at the slower yet similarly uplifting “Hope.” Layers of voice are joined by orchestral effects, dancing on a sundog rainbow.

But there are eight tracks on the album, enough to make four 45s.  How to choose?  Fortunately we don’t have to; they’re all here, from the pensive opener “Dream of Love” to the hyperactive “Epiclife,” marked by a late-track tempo downshift.  Collections 02 is the sound of cirrus clouds on warm beaches, beautiful days without watches or phones.  The season may fly by in a dream, but we’re at the start of summer now ~ time enough to enjoy it, to drink it in like the refined notes of this elegant, ebullient collection, as embracing as the Helsinki sun.  (Richard Allen)

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