Acclaimed Nordic indie folk duo Tuomo & Markus release their new album today. Game Changing was produced by Tuomo & Markus – a.k.a. Finnish soul/jazz singer/pianist Tuomo Prättälä and singer-songwriter Markus Nordenstreng (of Helsinki-based roots rock band The Latebirds) – in their native Finland and studios across the US.
LISTEN TO GAME CHANGING
PURCHASE GAME CHANGING
Game Changing includes such captivating new songs as “Wishful Information,” “Highest Mountain,” “We’re Not Buying It,” and "Love Coming Down," which was inspired by the studio songcraft of Steely Dan and galvanized thematically by the #metoo movement. Game Changing also includes the panoramic, paranoiac “Predator,” co-produced by Tuomo & Markus with multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Wilson (Dawes, Father John Misty, Angel Olsen).
WATCH “WE’RE NOT BUYING IT” (E-STUDIO SESSIONS)
WATCH “HIGHEST MOUNTAIN (LIVE AT E-STUDIO)”
LISTEN TO “WISHFUL INFORMATION”
LISTEN TO “LOVE COMING DOWN”
LISTEN TO “PREDATOR”
The tracks were been met by immediate critical applause, with EARMILK writing, “Building dynamically as graceful string arrangements swell beneath, ‘Highest Mountain’ showcases the group's poignant songwriting and penchant for crafting engaging, dream-like soundscapes.” Meanwhile, Blackbook named “Wishful Information” as one of “Three New Tracks You Need To Be Listening To,” praising the song’s “piercing observations on this worrying new age of algorithmic mind control.” “Featuring some funky chops from guitar legend Marc Ribot (Tom Waits, Plant/Krauss, Black Keys), ‘We’re Not Buying It’ sees Tuomo & Markus hark back to the smooth and refreshing sounds of the late 60s for their newest offering,” wrote The Hype Magazine. “While their previous efforts focused on their folk-inspired core, their latest gem sees them break away from their traditional conventions in pursuit of something woozier and more groove-laden than we have ever heard from them before.”
Tuomo & Markus – who lit up Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival earlier this year with an exhilarating live performance – will celebrate Game Changing with a wide-ranging international tour schedule. North American dates will be announced soon. For updates, please visit tuomomarkus.com.
Tuomo Prättälä and Markus Nordenstreng first met in 2007 and soon began collaborating as a duo, inspired by a shared passion for vocal harmony and a wide range of American music spanning roots rock, folk, jazz, soul, and psychedelia. The next half decade saw them periodically writing and performing together en route to recording sessions at Tucson, AZ’s WaveLab Recording Studio, backed by such high-profile friends and fans as Calexico’s Joey Burns, John Convertino, and Jacob Valenzuela, Wilco members Pat Sansone and John Stirratt, and The Jayhawks’ Gary Louris.
The resulting double LP, 2016’s Dead Circles, earned acclaim around the globe, with Rolling Stone’s David Fricke hailing it as “a marvelous debut album – steeped in the pioneer stories of the Band, the painted-desert psychedelia of the American Beauty-era Grateful Dead and the modernist extensions of Wilco and the Tucson band Calexico.” “Dead Circles is a rich tapestry of acoustic orchestration,” declared Seattle, WA’s influential KEXP, “often subdued but never enervating or insignificant. Over the delightful melodies, the duo’s harmonies drift airily, easily recalling CSNY and Simon & Garfunkel with reverence.”
Having mastered the studio, Tuomo & Markus transformed into a stellar six-piece live band, including Finnish jazz trumpet sensation Verneri Pohjola, pedal steel guitarist Miikka “McGyver” Paatelainen, bassist Jeremias Ijäs, and drummer-trombonist Juho Viljanen – all of whom feature on Game Changing. The group’s live shows proved wildly ambitious, evincing an expansive sonic approach that saw them sharing stages with Neil Young, Wilco, Jonathan Wilson, and The Jayhawks as well as a memorable 2017 performance at Austin, TX’s SXSW and KEXP live session highlighted by a widescreen cover of The Grateful Dead’s “Jack Straw” (streaming HERE).
Now, with the long overdue Game Changing, Tuomo & Markus have built upon their past triumphs and crafted something even more extraordinary, an urgent, electric collection of inventive improvisation and emotionally direct songcraft that simultaneously conjures both the Finnish north and the American West. From the morning call of the album-opening title track to the extended, winding roads of “Aliens With Extraordinary Talents” and “Hearing Voices,” the new album affirms Tuomo & Markus as uniquely visionary musicians whose roots and energies run long, wide and deep, through genre, era and geography.
“The only thing you can count on/Is things are about to change,” Prättälä and Nordenstreng sing as one in ‘Love Coming Down’ – a promise made again and again on this album,” writes Fricke in the album’s exclusive liner notes. “Six years in the waiting and finished amid a fear and uncertainty many of us have never known before, Game Changing is a second album about new beginnings, by a band with a future still being written. Here is the story so far.”
Let This Season Go
The Highest Mountain
Hecho En Mexico
Aliens With Extraordinary Talents
We’re Not Buying It
Love Coming Down