GEA is the vehicle in which Helsinki-based Laura Avonius jointly combines her close relationship with nature and the Nordic terrain into her style of music, which incorporates a wide range of Finnish traditional folk instruments and nuances of minimal electronic music.
Her debut EP, Pink, (released April 25, 2017) and debut album, Butterflies (released September 11, 2017) is based on her collaboration with multi-talented sound artist, musician and producer Mikko H. Haapoja.
Following the critical acclaim of her EP, Pink, in which she was named among the best ethereal female vocalists in the world by Sensible Reason, and the best up and coming Finish artist by Brutal Resonance, Butterflies was manifested through a dark period in Avonius’ life. The singer-songwriter talks about the inspiration behind the album:
“Butterflies is a personal journey of moving from being broken towards growing to become who I am. I wish it to inspire people to acknowledge that anything organic, anything alive is in constant move. We change and grow constantly, towards what we should be, towards our potential. Resisting changes and growth is what makes us unhappy. What if you are a butterfly but you have developed strong identity and ego as a worm? For me it meant that I had all this music in me for years, but it took quite extreme circumstances to have courage to let it out.”
The album opens up track, “Followers” that starts out with the sound of bells coming from the vibraphone. The ethereal washes of music is seeped in airy features filled with candid vocalizations and the soaring and swaying cadences that has traces of indie rock/pop running through the ambient electronic vibe.
“Pink” incorporates the steady sounds of the piano keys with the stark layering of Avonius’ vocals that accompany the piano melody. The softer cadences that the song elicits might remind one of a lullaby. The lithe sounds on this airy ballad is filled with light and is overall soothing.
“Friendship Hoax” is filled with erratic piano keys sounding off, clanging and banging away. The vocals, here, are dosed in acidity as Avonius sings about fake friendships. This ill-contained track has an over-arching melodious sound paved with a catchy feel and upbeat cadence. The trickling in of piano keys escalating in tone really takes the tumultuous energy to a new level, giving the track an exciting, amped feel.
“Alone” is about being far from home, taken far from the mortars and fabrications of a foundation and still wanting to be left alone. The striking sound starts off on a dramatic note, and the dynamic music will take audiences through a invigorating listening journey. This piano-led track is accompanied by the gliding sounds of the flugelhorn and the clashing sounds of the vibraphone. The pressing sounds are filled with urgency and a bit of drama, but overall giving off a melodic vibe.
The indie-vibe on “Little Detail” pervades with some percussions that give this upbeat track its energized feel.
“Wind” has some stellar sparse arrangements with just the lone sound of the piano keys with Avonius’ crystalline vocals. There is definitely a beguiling sense to the track with its softer tones and a light feel encompassing the song.
“Steps Out of Sight” is a piano-based track that provides for a more melancholy sound. The somber cadences are unleashed through the help of the gentle wave of strings.
Avonius’ album continues to capture more of the brilliance and ethereal-ness of her homeland on the combined vocals of Avonius and Haapoja on “Real You And Me,” atmospheric and airy sounds on “Enemy,” and the hazy sounds coming the Avonius’ fluty vocals and piano accompanied on the title-track, “Butterflies.”
This is definitely burning music meant to be heard. Filled with ethereal washes on this captivating soundscape that aptly depicts the Finnish landscape, Avonius beckons the elements to stay awhile: the sun, the clouds, the air, the mountains, deep and striking contrasts of light and dark. The album opens and closes with Butterflies, and Avonius wishes like the album moniker elicits for her music to grow wings and take flight.
These piano-based tracks are epic depictions of the Scandinavia territory. Cascading, cool, and serene, GEA offers up ethereal and airy washes of sound to captivate audiences.
The pressing sounds off of Butterflies embellished by traditional Finnish instrumentation and minimal electronic nodes are the pinnacle of alternative pop music.
GEA doesn’t hold back on her lilting sound, instead she imbues each rendering on her record with her marked intuitive and versatile style. Listeners will be blown away by GEA’s dreamy and haunting works!