Architecture In Helsinki has evolved considerably with each release in their relatively short career. Places Like This embraced their growing presence as a live entity; good times brimmed out of their sonic melting pot. This progression continues to build into this sort of Ladysmith Black Mambazo celebration of the human spirit.
They also continue to brim with increasingly greater confidence. That feeling is preserved on their latest EP with a few new remixes of Places Like This tracks. Apparently conscious of their growing legion of show-flocking fans, they've also included the previously unreleased live fan favorites “Beef In A Box” and “One Heavy February 2008”.
Prior to Places, band founder Cameron Bird had moved from Melbourne to Brooklyn. The requisite in-your-face intensity that comes with forging music in the hometown for The Ramones or Wu-Tang kicked in for the formerly shy Aussie farm boy. Bird has talked about the influence of the Puerto Rican community around his South-Williamsburg apartment, from late night Reggaeton to street barbecues, on the music he makes.
You can easily tune into traces of these traditions on every track of Like It Or Not: the humidity of a New York summer night and the smell of heated trash linger in the air. It’s the sign of a truly talented and honest artist that their music can seem to be such a legitimate reflection and extension of their experiences.
Shortly after the release of Places Like This, a friend of mine forwarded me a video of AIH performing in the streets of Paris. The line between the street crowd and the band blurred and it really felt like a neighborhood event in the spirit of the early days of hip-hop at street parties in the Bronx. That video seemed to perfectly capture the essence of what’s important to the band: honest music shared with good people. The Like It Or Not EP will remind you to grab your friends, get outside, fire up the grill, bang a beat on whatever’s around, and let your voices soar.