Architecture in Helsinki - Summer anthem!

Bill Cummings 19/07/2007

It may be raining outside but the summer is most definitely here, and what better way to celebrate than with the ace new video 'Heart It Races' (out on Monday) from Melbourne/New York indie, POP chameleons Architecture in Helsinki!
Check it out here:



'Heart It Races' (released July 23) is a joyous slice of multi instrumental pop pattered by beats, steel drums and dance floor breakdowns, sounding rather like the B52s going calypso, its a psychedelic rush that blows away the derivative banality of most of the current crop of UK indie bands.

Taken from their forthcoming third album "Places Like This"(Released on the 13th of August) Of which GIITTV has taken a sneaky listen and can confirm that it bristles with glorious pop energy, juxtaposing the new wave against new world instrumentals.

No doubt this new found tropicana feel is influenced by lead singer Cameron Bird's move from inner city Melbourne to Brooklyn whilst his band mates kept the home fires burning in Melbourne. When it came time to work on the new album, everything was different.

“Compare my reality in Melbourne to the reality of living in New York? Well you can't really. It's like living on two different planets. I grew up on a farm in New South Wales, 30km from the nearest town!” he laughs. “It could not be further removed from where I am right now, and the place where our music originated. I began working on songs for Places Like This in a shoe box apartment in South Williamsburg,” Bird explains. “Being here in the summer, endless 40 degree days and insane humidity, coupled with the fact that I was living above a Laundromat… It was like living in a furnace!”

The largely Puerto Rican neighbourhood could not help but seep into Bird's songwriting. “The sense of community in the way the Puerto Rican and Domenican folks inhabit their 'hood, people are always in the street playing dominoes and turning on fire hydrants, there is always a car out front in the street with Reggaeton bangin' at all hours, 9am to 3am. The effect on your psyche is undeniable,” he admits. “I had this glorified roof deck where my studio was, and every day I'd have to go out there and clean off all the shit that had been thrown from of the windows of my neighbours - roast chickens, steak bones, condoms, stinking trash… it was intense and Inspiring. I had never really been in a mindset like it, where I was being so directly influenced by my environment, rather than jangling around in my own head. It was much more fluid.”

Fluid, too, was the process of demoing the new songs and working out the parts with his faraway bandmates. “I would send parts back and forth to Melbourne, it got to the point where we were jamming on Instant Messenger!” Bird says, half incredulous. “I'd send a demo and James would jam drumbeats back to me over IM and we'd work though which beats to play. Then all 6 of us were all throwing in ideas and random arrangements and we had this wild cyber chemistry going on!' The tyranny of distance ended up being the most creatively invigorating experience the band had ever gone through.

When it came time to record, I looked around for bands who had recorded in Brooklyn. I Googled Chris Coady, found his Myspace and wrote to him. Literally within 10 minutes of me finding him on Myspace, we were talking on the phone. And that night we booked it in.”

Chris Coady had been making a name for himself at Dave (TV On The Radio) Sitek's studio, Staygold, working with the local Brooklyn cognoscenti, everyone from Yeah Yeah Yeahs to !!!, Grizzly Bear and Blonde Redhead and took to the band instantly. Coady was to engineer and mix the record whilst the band worked as its producers.

After the intense, elongated recording span of the last album, Places Like This came together in a flash of energy. With a September/October '06 US tour booked, the band had just five days to rehearse the new material together before hopping into the van for a 28 non-stop gigs, heading straight for the studio in Brooklyn after the final show. “We did all the tracking for this album in 12 days, which for us was ridiculous,” says Bird. “With our first two albums, both of them took months on end. This time, it wasn't about studio tomfoolery, we wanted the songs to jump from the speakers and convey the boundless energy of an AIH live show.”

The band commissioned much-feted UK illustrator Will Sweeney for the album's insanely ace artwork, the intricacies and mayhem perfectly complementing the music within.

Architecture In Helsinki arrive in the UK for a tour this September, be sure not to miss them live.

UK tour dates:
Fri 31 Aug Cambridge LodeStar festival, https://kiosk4.ts.com/k?v=lodestar
Sat 1 Sep Stradbelly Electric Picnic SOLD OUT
Tue 4 Sep Bristol Thekla, 9 08700 600100 www.seetickets.com
Wed 5 Sep Leeds Brudenell Social Club, 7 08700 600100 www.seetickets.com
Thu 6 Sep Manchester Academy 3, 7.50, 08700 600100 www.seetickets.com
Fri 7 Sep Isle Of Wight Bestival SOLD OUT
Mon 10 Sep London Koko 12.50, 08700 600100 www.seetickets.com
Tue 11 Sep Sheffield Plug, 7 08700 600100 www.seetickets.com
Wed 12 Sep Reading Fez Club, 7.50 08700 600100 www.seetickets.com
Thu 13 Sep Kingston Upon Thames 9 New Slang at The Works www.banquetrecords.com
Fri 14 Sep Nottingham Rescue Rooms, 9 08700 600100 www.seetickets.com
Sat 15 Sep End Of The Road festival, 30-95, 0871 2302605 www.endoftheroadfestival.com
Sun 16 Sep Brighton Audio, 8 http://www.wegottickets.com/