Music: Architecture In Helsinki

Architecture in Helsinki is an Australian alternative band led by Cameron Bird. Originally an eight-member group, they dropped to six and then five members over the course of their career. The members of the band (past and present) are:

  • Cameron Bird lead vocals, guitars, percussion
  • Gus Franklin trombone, horns, guitar, vocals, drums
  • Jamie Mildren instrumentation, guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, flute, glockenspiel, melodica
  • Sam Perry slide guitar, vocals, bass guitar, drums, keyboards
  • Kellie Sutherland clarinet, melodica, horns, vocals, keyboards
  • James Cecil drums, backing vocals, guitars, keyboards (split in 2008)
  • Tara Shackell instrumentation, tuba, trombone, keyboards (split in 2006)
  • Isobel Knowles trumpet, horns, vocals (split in 2006)

They have released five albums:

  • Fingers Crosssed (2003)
  • In Case We Die (2005)
  • Places Like This (2007)
  • Moment Bends (2011)
  • Now +4Eva (2014)
The official website can be found here.

Architecture in Helsinki contains examples of:

  • Animal Mecha: A competitor named Robo-Pete pilots a giant mechanized whale in the music video for "Do the Whirlwind."
  • Animated Music Video: The videos for "Do the Whirlwind" and "Like a Call".
  • Badass Beard: Jamie Mildren has one.
  • Deep-Immersion Gaming: The video for "Do the Whirlwind" features video game-esque versions of each of the band's members.
  • Epic Instrumental Opener: The intro track of their third album In Case We Die Nevereverdid contains a 3 minute slow buildup of ambient sounds and vocals before degenerating into the noisy chorus.
  • Everythings An Instrument: The band was famous for this for their first 3 albums. Everything from breaking glass, to gongs, to toys, to children laughing or singing were combined with an already wide array of folk instruments created a jumbled yet chaotically catchy sound.
  • Haunted House: The music video for "Wishbone" has a woman visiting a house where all the residents are zombies, vampires, or disembodied heads.
  • If I Can't Have You: From "Frenchy, I'm Faking":
    You let me down lightly,
  • New Sound Album: Starting from a mostly folk-influenced pop sound on Fingers Crossed, In Case We Die added a more chaotic Indie sound while retaining the catchy folk instrumentation. Places Like This added more noise elements with some industrial and rock touches, while pulling back on the folk instruments, blending each part of their sound in more or less equal amounts. Moment Bends abandoned nearly their entire approach in favor of synth pop while still keeping the Vocal Tag Team and a bit of their quirky lyrics, but was more commercial-sounding. 4+Eva continued further in this direction, incorporating elements of Disco and 80s-styled production. The quirky lyrics have made a bit of a comeback, but aside from the frequent use of horns, their acoustic instruments have been dropped in favor of layered synths.
  • Noise Pop: A key component of their pre-Moment Bends material.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Neither the band nor anyone in it is from Helsinki, and they're not really into architecture as such.
  • Not Good with Rejection: Apparently, the singer of "Frenchy, I'm Faking," who murders his girlfriend for breaking up with him.
  • Swallowed Whole: At the end of the video for "Do the Whirlwind," the entire band gets eaten by a robotic whale piloted by a competitor.
  • Talky Bookends: "Heart It Races" features an opening with a voiceover about a tribe's strange culture.
  • Unusual Euphemism: "That Beep" uses a lot of them. "Got me waiting for your dynamite," "Do they mistake us for an eight that's turning into a nine," "Can you give me that beep," etc.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: The ending of the music video for "It'5" has Bird visibly vomiting, ostensibly from running in circles for two minutes straight.
  • Widget Series: A noisy pop band from Down Under.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: A staple of their music. It's more notable when a song of theirs makes sense, lyrically.