What you need to know:
Maustetytöt is a band that writes their songs in Finnish. Laconic and with sad lyrics it has managed to place itself in the preferences of Finland.
If you already saw Fallen Leavesamong all its wonderful elements, the music—or well, the soundtrack—surely caught your attention, especially the participation of Maustetytöt, a Finnish duo whose music It has only recently been discovered in these parts thanks to Aki Kaurismäki’s film.
Although it is also possible that someone who is an expert in European or Finnish pop music has come across them before the premiere ofe Fallen Leaves.
Anyway, here we tell you a little about Maustetytöt and his songs that seem to be a paradox of the idea that the world has had about Finland as the happiest country in the world.
Maustetytöt: The idea of happiness in Finland and its role in ‘Fallen Leaves’
It seems that we are facing a scene from the movies eighties either nineties by Pedro Almódovar, but in reality we are witnessing the story of Ansa and Holappa, with close-ups of the faces of the diners in a bar, where two young people begin to play a melancholic song.
There are few gestures or expressions of the two girls—at the keyboard and guitar—that, beyond the fact that this scene is boring or inconsequential, is a hook to continue discovering the story of Fallen Leaves.
Especially the story of one of the protagonists, Holappa. In fact all that melancholic atmosphere is built, in part, thanks to the intervention of the two young women from Maustetytöt.
The role in question is called Syntynyt suruun ja puettu pettymyksin —in Spanish something like Born in pain and dressed in disappointment. It describes a depressive state, full of metaphors that revolve around goodbyes and death..
In an interview with GuardianMaustetytöt guitarist Anna Karjalainen explained that this song serves as a kind of leitmotif or impulse for the protagonist makes an irrevocable decision regarding his alcohol problems.
The entire atmosphere in this scene is also a contradiction to the idea that the world has made Finland the happiest country in the world —and in reality it is, according to the annual reports, buuuut There is something to understand and Maustetytöt’s songs show us it.
The Spice Girls of Finland
In the United Kingdom, after the premiere of Fallen LeavesMaustetytöt’s music was a nice surprise that led to the writing of Guardian to interview sisters Anna and Kaisa Karjalainen, who are members of the band.
Yes, with just a guitar and keyboards, Maustetytöt unleashes his music, a synth pop similar to garage and rock that has been growing in Finland.
The name of the band, believe it or not, means in English Spice Girls — spicy girls. And the Karjalainen sisters owe that to a good friend who named them that because the first band they formed was called Kaneli or cinnamon.
Maustetytöt has three albums: Kaikki tiet vievät Peltolaan (All roads lead to Peltolaan 2019), Eivät enkelitkään ilman siipiä lennä (Not even angels can fly without wings, 2020) and Maailman onnellisin kansa (The happiest nation in the world2023).
And, thematically, the lyrics of their songs have nothing to do with the idea of happiness that we have built about Finland.
In fact, they address quite complex issues that Finland has struggled to eradicate or address such as suicide, alcoholism, violence, mental health, migration, refugees and war —some are just what Kaurismäki addresses in Fallen Leaves as a criticism of capitalism.
The letters –written in Finnish because the band thinks it is more authentic than writing in Englishunlike other Nordic groups such as ABBA, The Radio Dept. or Röyksopp— contrast with the rhythm of the keyboards and guitar.
In the end, both for Finland and the rest of the world that has discovered themit is a new bet: for the authenticity of writing in Finnish and the contrasts within its music itself.