ERJA LYYTINEN releases Stolen Hearts & begins UK Tour

Logo image for Erja Lyytinen

Erja Lyytinen is pleased to announce the release of her 10th studio album “Stolen Hearts” which will be 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 released 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 at Square & Compass in Ilminster on Sunday 9th April.

image of album cover for Erj Lyytinen Stolen Hearts

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.

Image of Erja Lyytinen and Chris Kimsey
Erja Lyytinen and Chris Kimsey at State of the Ark Studios, London. Photo by Tina Korhonen

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.”

image of Erja Lyytinen by Tina Korhonen
Erja Lyytinen by Tina Korhonen

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.

“Working with Erja was a revelation,” says Kimsey.  “She has the ability to do perform and write so many different kinds of songs, and her vocals and lyrics are powerful and they connect with listeners.”

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 realised 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.

TRACK BY TRACK BY ERJA LYYTINEN

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.

Rocking Chair
You probably don´t pay much attention to what is the time signature in the song. It goes to seven in verses, which is pretty unusual but works nicely here. I had a 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 criticise the way the reality television and money run the world nowadays, how exploitative the world can be. In the end, we should be in peace what we have done and achieved in life.

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’s 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.

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 to 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

Awakening
There is a point in every long relationship when you fall in love again. It´s the realisation 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.

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 society works, and how some are more fortunate than the others.

I was travelling on 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.

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.

Tour info and more – Erja Lyytinen