Ending up the week with a short set from Architecture In Helsinki, recorded live at Metro Theatre in Sydney by Triple J Radio for their Live At The Wireless series.
Since they’ve been touring the states a lot in recent years, if you’ve been to a David Byrne, Dr Dog, Death Cab for Cutie, Yacht, The Go-Betweens, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Santigold, Glass Candy, The Presets, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Au Revoir Simone, Field Music, Lo Fi Fnk, or Yo La Tengo concert you’ve probably seen them – they’ve been opening act for all the above mentioned since around 2014, when their tour schedule started taking in North America on a regular basis.
But if you haven’t – and you’re curious: Architecture in Helsinki is an Australian indie pop band which consists of Cameron Bird, Gus Franklin, Jamie Mildren, Sam Perry, and Kellie Sutherland. The band has released five studio albums: Fingers Crossed (2003), In Case We Die (2005), Places Like This (2007), Moment Bends (2011), and Now + 4eva (2014).
Architecture in Helsinki developed from a short-lived high school music experiment in Albury, New South Wales, by childhood friends Cameron Bird (lead singer), Jamie Mildren and Sam Perry. By 1999, the trio had moved to the Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy, where they used the name Architecture in Helsinki for Bird’s first collection of self-penned songs. Bird got the new band’s name after cutting up a newspaper and re-arranging words.They played a small number of gigs before going into hiatus. In 2000, while studying photography at art school, Bird met James Cecil, the two developed a musical connection and within months Cecil joined the band on drums. Around that time Bird took up guitar, he also met Kellie Sutherland at a party and invited her to play clarinet for the band.
The five-member group began to work on their debut album, Fingers Crossed, at Super Melody World, Cecil’s recording studio built in a church hall in a south-eastern suburb. Recording was halted when Bird left for an extended holiday in the US, leaving the album unfinished. Upon return from Portland, Oregon, Bird was inspired to write short, catchy pop songs, which marked a new direction for the band. At art school, Bird met members of The Rhinestone Horns, a brass ensemble, and he recruited Isobel Knowles, Tara Shackell and Gus Franklin – all three originally from Victoria’s Western District – to complete Architecture in Helsinki’s eight-member line-up. In 2002, the group signed with independent record label, Trifekta, which released their debut single, “Like a Call” in December. Nearly two years after starting work, Fingers Crossed was issued on 9 February 2003. Most of the group’s members play multiple instruments and their music makes use of a wide range of instruments, from analog synthesizers, samplers, the glockenspiel and handclaps; to concert band instruments like the trumpet, tuba, trombone, saxophone, clarinet and recorder; and the more standard guitars, bass guitar and drums.
In early 2012, the band began work on their follow up to Moment Bends, deciding to stick with the polished pop sound that had worked on the previous album. They recorded in a makeshift studio above a café in Melbourne. The space had previously been a hideaway for junkies. As a result, during recording the band tried to combat the negative energy previously associated with the space. To promote the album, the band set up a temporary concept store in Melbourne Central Shopping Center. It was open from 28 March 2014 until 6 April 2014. Bird described the store as “an opportunity to forge a vibrant new connection with our audience and in turn, explore new ideas of what music retail could be.” It sold the album on vinyl, CD, cassette, and USB, in addition to other products such as jewelry, drink bottles, rock candy figurines of the band members, a fashion line, and prints of the album’s cover art. The products were commissioned from local designers and friends of the band. The album’s singles were “I Might Survive,” “In the Future,” and “Dream a Little Crazy.” It was released on 28 March 2014 in Australia and New Zealand, and on 1 April 2014 in North America.
So now you know – next step; hit the play button and crank it up.