Cats of Transnistria

📸 Eetu Maaranen

We all know what a cat is, but what is a Transnistria?
Transnistria: Transnistria (also called Trans-Dniestr or Transdniestria) is a breakaway state located mostly on a strip of land between the River Dniester and the eastern Moldovan border with Ukraine. It is internationally recognised as part of the Republic of Moldova but whose de facto independence is maintained with the assistance of Russian forces.

Allegedly there are no cats in Transnistria.

So we have Cats of Transnistria who are a slow and deep duo from Helsinki, Finland.
Cats of Transnistria are Tuomas Alatalo and Henna Emilia Hietamäki.

So let’s get to hear this awesome music.

First up this deliciously dark piece, amazing guitar work and the beautiful voice of Henna
It has a great video of beach scenes through the ages, not too sure much of it is from San Francisco though. Some of the surfing stuff could be from Mavericks on a quiet day. Some of the older stuff could have been from the Sutro Baths.
San Francisco

Unofficial music video from “a fan”.
We own no rights.

📸 Silja-Riikka Seppälä

Next up a live Sofar performance from Helsinki. Sofar do such a great job producing these videos all around the world. The performance is just as good as their recordings are, proving them to be real artists. Oh and her voice, her voice.
Let It Happen This Way

Filmed by: Arto Marttinen, Susan Heikkinen & Henri Hämäläinen
Edited by: Eero Lehtinen
Audio by: Simo Pitkänen

📸 Sofia Okkonen

Another beautiful blend of dream pop vocals and fuzzy, psyched guitar and of course the keyboards. This tune is hypnotically brilliant, it engages you from the very beginning right up to the final notes. If only all music could be this inclusive.
The Departure

The video, directed by friend and photographer​ Sofia Okkonen, slowly unwinds through shadows and smoke to reveal a fine band performance full of emotion and mood, reflecting The Departure’s dream state structure and sense of longing. Hypnotic and at times surreal, The Departure’s 7 plus minutes is something to get lost in.

📸 Niclas Mäkelä

I’m not sure what this one is about, but then you can all read the lyrics? text? the same as every one else. But seriously, this is another gem of dark decadent mood pop. Just enjoy it.

Cats of Transnistria esiintyy Stupido-klubilla 13.5. Illan muut esiintyjät ovat Cyan Kicks ja For Tomorrow.

We are going to finish up with this 10 minute masterpiece, it’s slow but beautiful. It’s worthwhile taking the time to kick back and enjoy this awesome piece.
Cats Of Transnistria’s recently released debut album Divine, has been warmly received, with many commenting on the album’s atmosphere, beauty and dark charisma. The centre piece of the album is the 10 minute-plus trance-invoking Displacement: repetition, slow build with noisy release – Cats of Transnistria tell us that Displacement is “a song of wanting to be anywhere else than here and of the enormous joy one feels when finding a way out'”

First camera: Dimitriy Zhuravlev
Second Camera: Polina Sarancha
Editor: Alina Sarancha
Cargo Collective / Panika Derevya
The video was shot in Yekaterinburg, Russia.

📸 Niclas Mäkelä


Oh boy do we have an amazing talent for you today, she is from the Netherlands and at times she has a touch of that other fabulous Dutch singer Wende Snijders. But she is unique to herself.
Sevda Alizadeh, better known by her stage name Sevdaliza , is an Iranian-Dutch alternative R&B singer/songwriter.

Sevdaliza was born in Iran, but she moved with her family to the Netherlands when she was sixteen on a basketball scholarship, eventually playing on the Dutch national basketball team. She went to university, graduating with a master’s degree in communications.

She is renowned for her musical career, specially collaborating with Rotterdam-based producer Mucky. She released two extended plays The Suspended Kid and Children of Silk in 2015. Her debut album is scheduled to be released this year.

There is so much good stuff in her catalog that I have to take you on a little tour through her music. And this is going to be a treat for all.

First up we have a very striking and stylized video for an awesome song.
Sevdaliza is singing this for us all. Totally the bomb.

original music: Sevdaliza
produced by: Mucky
co-produced by: Sevdaliza
concept: Sevdaliza & Emmanuel Adjei
director: Emmanuel Adjei
director of Photography: Paul Ozgur
script: Marleen Ozgur
production company: Vigics
videoproducer: Felicity van Stroe & Linda Schager

Another beautiful dramatic video for an equally dramatic song.
The contrast of that deep bass beat and Sevdaliza’s soaring beautiful vocalizing is unique and awesome.
Marilyn Monroe

directed by Hirad Sab
concept by Hirad Sab and Sevdaliza

Where has this lady been all my life? She makes the kind of music I could live with forever, and her videos are a thing of beauty. The music is so different from practically everything else out there.
Sirens of the Caspian

composed by sevdaliza
produced by mucky

concept: Sevdaliza and Atlynn Vrolijk
directed by: Atlynn Vrolijk
produced by Sevdaliza
DOP: Nicolay Lima
edit: Atlynn Vrolijk and Dylan Ray Fenix
styling: Ilanka Verhoeven
camera assistent: Dylan Ray Fenix

📸 Zahra Reijs

And the gifts just keep coming, another artful video with a cool car and a beautiful lady.
Not to be confused with Backstreet Luv (Curved Air) this is one cool tune with some heavy beats and again the awesome voice of Sevdaliza. I believe we have finally found a replacement for Donna Summer in the sexy songs stakes.
Backseat Love

Concept by Sevdaliza
Directed by Lisette Donkersloot and Atlynn Vrolijk
DOP: Nicolay Lima
Production: Sevdaliza
Edit: Lisette Donkersloot
Grading: Nicolay Lima
Styling: Ilanka Verhoeven

Sevdaliza sounds more vulnerable here than on any other track I’ve heard so far. But don’t be that other girl, we love you just as you are. Another beautifully crafted video.
That other girl

concept by Sevdaliza and Pussykrew
directed by Pussykrew
produced by Pussykrew
written by Sevdaliza
music produced by Mucky
music co-produced by Sevdaliza

Wow! No two videos the same, not even close. Another great track from Sevdaliza, plenty of deep bass and sparkly musical sprinkles in this one. Plus that hypnotic voice. We won’t cry.
The Valley

directed by zahra reijs
edit & production by sevdaliza
styling by sevdaliza
mua celine bernaerts
written by sevdaliza
music programmed by mucky
co-programmed by sevdaliza

“and when you’re in need of sight to survive. remember, it was you who broke the glasses, blinded by rage.”
Very cryptic, very deep. Another brilliant song / video from Sevdaliza.
Clear Air

concept by sevdaliza
directed by gino gervaes
produced by sevdaliza
art direction by atlynn vrolijk
edit by lisette donkersloot

Finally today I’m gonna leave you with a true experience. Here’s Sevdaliza live at Best Kept Secret 2016 which is a music festival in the Netherlands. And just FYI Best Kept Secret 2017 is already sold out.
Such pure beautiful vocals.

Anneke Van Giersbergen


📸 Mark Uyl

Anneke Van Giersbergen needs no introduction, she has graced the pages of the old blog frequently, in particular in 2009, 2010 and 2012. But there were other times between.

Today I want to feature a mainly quieter softer side of Anneke Van Giersbergen.

But some time soon, she’s been teasing she is going to be presenting a new band VUUR!!
For the past few months they have been busy writing and rehearsing songs for their debut album that will be recorded early in the year and released in the fall of 2017. Be prepared for something heavy, melodic and progressive. Me, I can’t wait.

So let’s get to this softer music.

First up one of the most poignant Queen songs, and one of Freddie’s finest. Anneke does a beautiful interpretation here, with some great guitar backing from Esa Holopainen. A great live performance from Helsinki earlier this year.
Who Wants to Live Forever

Esa Holopainen from Amorphis joins Anneke Van Giersbergen on stage to perform an acoustic cover version of Queen’s classic song Who Wants to Live Forever. 25th of August 2016. Semifinal, Helsinki.

📸 Mark Uyl

With her beautiful voice, clear as a bell, and her wonderful guitar work I’m sure Pink Floyd would be pleased with this version. There are several Pink Floyd cover bands out there, many of them very good, but they all cover with the same sound as the original. This is a brilliant difference to change it up a bit and perform it simply and acoustically. And her voice, simply sublime.
Wish You Were Here

The Gentle Storm Acoustic Tour, Hybrydy, Warszawa; 27.02.2015

A brilliantly haunting song from Anneke, this from her days with the band The Gathering.
Just awe-inspiring with its simple beauty.
Locked Away

Anneke Van Giersbergen performs an acoustic version of The Gathering song Locked Away. Live at Semifinal, Helsinki, 25th of August 2016.

Chris Isaac once upon a time wrote this amazingly beautiful song, and Anneke takes it to new heights, to a new place. Devastating. Speechless.
Wicked Game

Live on GI:EL ~ a Dutch radio station

Finally today a wonderful song that families all over the world will appreciate. Oh Anneke, you have such a beautiful voice.
My Mother Said

2013 Anneke van Giersbergen – Taken from the album “Drive”
Produced, filmed and edited by Raymond van Olphen – Bullet-ray Xraymultimedia

OK, I lied, but I thought you may like to see this brief introduction to her new band VUUR.