THE NEW ALBUM RELEASED 7th APRIL 2017
Released on CD, Digital Download and Vinyl
Coincides with April 2017 UK Tour
Erja Lyytinen is pleased to announce the release of her 10th studio album “Stolen Hearts” – released by Tuohi Records on Friday 7th April, 2017. Stolen Hearts is the first album to be released since 2015’s “Live In London”, and the first studio album to be release since 2014’s Elmore James tribute “The Sky Is Crying.”
The new album coincides with Erja’s “Stolen Hearts” April 2017 Tour which kicks off atSquare & Compass in Ilminster on Sunday 9th April.
The new album was recorded at Sonic Pump Studios in Helsinki. Erja’s vocals were recorded at State of the Ark Studios in London by multi-platinum selling engineer and producer Chris Kimsey, known for his contributions to classic Rolling Stones albums Sticky Fingers and Some Girls. Kimsey also mixed the album.
In fact, Stolen Hearts was mixed on the very same EMI console Kimsey had often used with the Stones. Says Erja, “Chris said it was like meeting an old girlfriend after many years. He sat in front of the desk and his magic started to happen.”
Mastering was completed at Air Studios (part of the world-famous Air Studios started by Beatles producer George Martin) by Ray Staff, whose credits include iconic rock albums including David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust (1972) and Mott The Hoople’s All The Young Dudes (1972).
Stolen Hearts comes at a time when Erja Lyytinen is broadening her horizons. During the past year, she has played a sold-out tour of Finland with her compatriot Heikki Silvennoinen and made her first-ever concert appearances in India.
She describes the process of making her newest album “purifying” – the product of difficult times of “heartbreak, frustration, disappointment, fear of loss and yet, at the same time, the deepest love.” As an artist, Erja has always been open to change, and with Stolen Hearts, she wants to offer her audience something totally new. “I had the feeling that I had the ingredients in my hands to make something truly extraordinary and different.”
“Erja’s interpretation of the blues takes the genre to another level that I have never experienced before,” says Kimsey.
Stolen Hearts sees Erja spreading her wings into different musical genres whilst retaining her blues roots. Influences of country, Americana, funk, folk, prog, R&B, jazz and rock, are intertwined with Erja’s trademark slide guitar blues stamp, which makes Stolen Hearts her most stylistically accomplished and sonically adventurous release to date.
“Working with Erja was a revelation,” says Kimsey. “She has the ability to perform and write so many different kinds of songs, and her vocals and lyrics are powerful and they connect with listeners.”
Photo Credits: © Tina Korhonen
Says Erja, “For this album, I wanted to break out of Helsinki by working with an established British engineer who could take my vocals further. When Chris Kimsey was recommended, I checked out his credentials, and realized that he had worked on some of the greatest rock records recorded by the Rolling Stones, Peter Frampton, INXS, Marillion, Bad Company, to name but a few.
Continues Erja, “Working at State of the Ark with Chris was amazing because we mixed the album and recorded my vocals on the same desk the Rolling Stones used at Pathe Marconi Studios in Paris, where they recorded all their classic albums. The desk is analogue, and the microphones were vintage, enabling us to capture an authentic and fuller sound. I’m really pleased with the results, and I hope my fans will be, too. Production-wise, Stolen Hearts is the best sounding album of my career.”
STOLEN HEARTS – TRACK BY TRACK
BY ERJA LYYTINEN
- 1. Stolen Hearts
A fictional story of a man eater. Having fun every night. Using their innocence, money and dedication, she has her fun. Until the user becomes fooled herself by falling in love. I was thinking of Jimi Hendrix on some of the guitar parts while arranging the song. There’s also a bit of 90´s vibe there, too. This is one of the coolest songs to play live! We also made my very first official music video of the song with real actors.
- 2. Rocking Chair
You probably don´t pay much of attention what is the time signature in the song. It goes to seven in verses, which is pretty unusual, but works nicely here. I had bit of Led Zeppelin´s Black Dog in my head while doing the verses, even though the song ended up being far away from that one! The lyrics detail people´s personal growth in their lives. They also criticize the way the reality television and money run the world nowadays, how exploitative world can be. In the end we should be in peace what we have done and achieved in life.
- 3.Love Laboratory
What is love? Or falling in love? It is liquids running through our veins. It is hormones, chemistry – a reaction that is caused by someone flesh and blood. It’s someone you can’t resist. The feeling of passion. The bass is emulating the heartbeat in the song. This is a funky track and for the C-part we added a Lenny Kravitz kind-of-guitar-part to make it groove.
- 4. 24 Angels
This song is about morality and forgiveness. Whatever you do in life, you will have to answer the consequences. While writing the lyrics I was thinking of death row, when the final judgement comes. How does the person feel while walking that last walk? Relief? Fear? In a much more minor scale, you might have these same feelings if you have done wrong for your loved one. The song is co-written with songwriter and guitarist Alan Darby. Last year I went to India to play some shows. During the slide solo I played an Indian scale with semitones, which gives the song a more of a mysterious vibe.
5. Black Ocean
A heavy riff, repetitive bass and drum groove iced with simple blues lyrics. I wanted to create a song that takes the listener inside of a monotonic groove. The song opens up while going to the chorus. I was thinking of progressive rock bands such as Pink Floyd and Yes, how they create songs. This is the longest, a 7-minute song on the album and there is a massive guitar solo, which is more like a piece itself with some twin guitars, slurs and tapping, everything that you need to have in a big guitar solo.
- 6. Slowly Burning
This is the slow blues number on the album. It’s a story about a relationship that slowly burns out. The heavy and oppressive atmosphere leads to the end of a family unit and quiets down the house on a silent hill.
- 7. Lover’s Novels
I needed a fast shuffle song for my album, so I came up with this straight forward, simple, driven song. The song came out as I wanted it to be; short and immersive, like an affair. It’s one of the most enjoyable songs to play, mostly because of the furious and improvisational slide guitar.
- 8. Silver Stones
Every year 1.5 % of the population becomes ill of some sort of a mental disease. The busy life, expectations and hundreds of impulses around us every day make us speed up and stretch ourselves to the limits. Some people are more vulnerable than the others to get sick. I had a close experience with a friend getting lost to a fantasy world. It made me think that the edge of losing it is actually closer to all of us than we might think of.
Photo Credits: © Tina Korhonen
- 9. Awakening
There is a point in every long relationship when you fall in love again. It´s the realization of that you truly love someone, there´s nothing better. He or she is the one! After being 17 years in a relationship, I have had a good experience of these moments.
- 10. City Of Angels
I was twenty-something when I got a scholarship to study at the notable Musician´s Institute in Los Angeles. For the first time I really saw people with different social status and I got to think how the society works, and how some are more fortunate than the others. I was traveling in a bus, seeing and hearing a lot of things and it got me thinking of the life of ordinary people living day by day. There was a lot of good vibes too, joy and satisfaction. Happiness isn´t just a bunch of dollars. Neither richness nor poorness can prevent us from being unhappy and losing ourselves.
- 11. Broken Eyes
I wrote this song for piano and vocals. This is a classic approach to a love song, a bit of musical world in it. Imagine seeing your loved one cuddling someone else, and how it metaphorically breaks your eyes, as it would break your heart. This song has a lot of chord changes. There´s a bit of pop/jazz vibe in it. I love composers like Gershwin, who write songs with big chord changes and great melodies.
APRIL 2017 UK TOUR DATES
Square & Compass, Ilminster
Sunday 9th April 2017
Box Office – 01823 480 467
Windmill Hill, Ilminster TA19 9NX
The 100 Club
Record Release Party
Tuesday 11th April 2017
Venue Tel: 020 7636 0933
Book Online – WeGotTickets.com
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
100 Oxford Street, London, W1d 1LL
Durham Gala Theatre, Durham
Co-headline with Chantel McGregor
Thursday 13th April 2017
Book Online: Durham Gala Theatre
Box Office: 03000 266 600
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Millennium Place, Durham, DH1 1WA
Since first entering a recording studio some 15 years ago, singer/guitarist Erja Lyytinen has become a bona fide star in her homeland and a fixture on the international music scene.
In that time, “the Finnish slide goddess” (The Blues Magazine) has recorded in places as diverse as Helsinki, London and Memphis, earning numerous accolades along the way.
Rooted in both traditional and modern blues, she successfully blends styles like jazz, pop, soul and rock into a sound all her own.
Celebrated slide guitar master Sonny Landreth, upon discovering Lyytinen’s music recently, remarked: “I sure enjoyed her guitar skills. She’s obviously made a big name for herself. Things are going well for her and for good reason.”
Born into a musical family in the town of Kuopio, Lyytinen quickly emerged as an artist to watch in her native country. She recorded her international debut Pilgrimage after signing with Germany’s prestigious Ruf Records label in 2005. The 2006 Blues Caravan tour gave audiences in Europe and the United States a first taste of her spirited live performances.
The solo follow-up Dreamland Blues took her back to the USA to record with David and Kinney Kimbrough (sons of Mississippi blues legend Junior Kimbrough).
After two years on the road, she returned with Grip of the Blues in 2008, mixing hard-edged blues with modern R&B. Her 2010 release Voracious Love was even more adventurous: The lavishly orchestrated “Bed of Roses” featuring contributions from Marco Hietala (Nightwish) on vocals and Apocalyptica cellist Paavo Lötjönen – showed that Lyytinen is unafraid to push the stylistic envelope. With 2013’s Forbidden Fruit, she returned to more familiar territory.
Canada’s Blues Underground Network chose The Sky Is Crying as Best European Blues Album and Best Tribute Album of 2014. It also placed in the top three international albums of 2014 as chosen by writers at Britain’s Blues Matters, who also honored Erja as the #2 international solo artist.
The Elmore James tribute The Sky Is Crying proved to be a breakthrough. Released in 2014, it was universally hailed as her best and bluesiest recording to date. This collection of stripped-down, old-school blues convinced even the most discerning listeners that Lyytinen’s feel for the blues runs deep and that as a slide player, she has few peers.
Live in London, a sizzling live set of Elmore James covers and original material released a year later, culminated with Erja being voted the #1 international solo artist by Blues Matters and Artist of the Year at the Finnish Blues Awards.
On 7th April, Erja releases her 10th studio album, Stolen Hearts, mixed by Chris Kimsey (The Rolling Stones).