Finnish Psychedelic Folk Duo Tuomo & Markus Release New Song; Instrumental Album Out in the Fall

Article Contributed by Big Hassle Media | Published on Sunday, June 23, 2024

Finnish jazz trumpet virtuoso Verneri Pohjola and critically acclaimed psychedelic indie-folk group Tuomo & Markus have joined forces both on stage and in the studio. The artists recorded a collaborative all-instrumental album. Music For Roads will be released worldwide November 1. The band are releasing the Pohjola-penned single Anyhow Lane today, on the eve of their US summer festival run.

“It’s great to return to North America. We played SXSW in March, but it’s been two years since our last visit to the East Coast. There’s so much new music and the band is in top-notch right now – we can’t wait to cross the Atlantic again,” the flying Finns declare with great enthusiasm.

American landscape inspired the soundscape of the upcoming album which is a unique blend of Nordic jazz and psychedelic desert music. Anyhow Lane is leaning heavily on cinematic Americana, with its hi-strung acoustic guitars and pedal steel complementing Pohjola’s inspired trumpet delivery.


This could be viewed as a homecoming of sorts for Tuomo & Markus who have had a deep connection to the US since the start of their career. The band recorded their debut album Dead Circles in Tucson with help from various Calexico and Wilco members. Their previous single Waiting Room was recorded together with NYC-guitar legend Marc Ribot who was also featured on the band’s 2023 release Game Changing. The critically acclaimed sophomore album was recorded at Jonathan Wilson’s studio in Los Angeles and the late Ed Ackerson’s Flowers Studio in Minneapolis.

Verneri Pohjola, meanwhile, is one of Europe’s top jazz artists, who was recently nominated for Nordic Council Music Prize. Pohjola’s skills far exceed jazz. Multi Grammy-winner, Finnish contemporary music giant Kaija Saariaho, who died in 2023, composed her last piece Hush specifically for Pohjola’s trumpet. Hush will have its US debut at LA’s Disney Hall in January 2024 with LA Phil and Pohjola as its guest soloist.

Music For Roads, however, started in their homeland already amidst the Covid19 pandemic, which shut down the world and made air travel and international touring impossible. Tuomo & Markus guitarist and co-founder Markus Nordenstreng confesses that it felt more natural to compose instrumentals than to write compelling lyrics at the time.

“I remember a recording session very early on when you couldn’t have more than seven people in one room at a given time. There was continuous political turmoil in the news and then at the tail-end of the pandemic the war in Ukraine broke out, less than 1,000 miles away from our hometown. We needed an escape from all the madness. Since it was impossible to make physical roadtrips to America at the time, we decided to create a virtual one,” Markus Nordenstreng says.

Instrumental music and immersive audio tech provided the perfect route to construct Music For Roads. The Finns got introduced to immersive audio during the pandemic and local studio monitor manufacturer Genelec lent them a Dolby Atmos setup at the studio.

Interestingly, instead of going fully digital, they decided to use magnetic tape to capture the new music. Music For Roads was recorded, mixed and mastered onto tape, making it most likely the world’s first fully analog Dolby Atmos recording. Most of the performances were cut 100% live with the whole seven-piece band in the same room. For those who still prefer stereo recordings there will be a limited vinyl and CD release available.

“The surround setup in the studio really affected many of the arrangements and enhanced our performances. But we also consciously decided to remain true to the aesthetics of our sound, which is rooted in the analog world. We were involved in the production process from start to finish. Many big artists are nowadays releasing Dolby Atmos recordings without even personally attending the mixing and mastering sessions. This obviously contributes to the inconsistency of many Dolby Atmos masters out there. But immersive sound technology itself is fascinating and the way of the future,” Markus Nordenstreng concludes.



June 21, 2024 – Seattle Wa, Nordic Museum

June 25, 2024 – Washington Dc, Nordic Jazz Series @Blues Alley

June 27, 2024 – Rochester Ny, Rochester Jazz Festival @Theatre At Innovation Sq

June 28, 2024 – Boston Ma, Boston Harbor Distillery

June 30, 2024 – North Adams Ma, Solid Sound Closing Party

July 1, 2024  – New York City Ny, Mercury Lounge