Finnish indie pop stalwarts Jessika Rapo (vocalist for Le Futur Pompiste
) and Henry Ojala (drummer for Cats on Fire
) teamed up to form the sophisticated synth pop duo Burning Hearts in 2004.
Sounding something like a warm, wispy mix of Le Futur Pompiste
and Cats on Fire
, Burning Hearts fit right in with Shelflife Records
' early-2000s roster, which at that point included the likes of Days, the Ruling Class, and the Radio Dept.
Burning Hearts' debut full-length, Aboa Sleeping, was released on Shelflife
in early 2009. Rapo and Ojala followed up the album's release with a passel of live shows, which included their first U.S. appearance at the Cake Shop in New York City. After releasing two singles in 2010 ("Night Animal" and a cover of Arthur Russell
's "The Letter"), the duo decamped to the Finnish countryside and recorded a four-song EP, Into the Wilderness, which was issued by Shelflife
in June of 2011. The duo returned in early 2012 with their second album, Extinctions, a darker work colored by death and tragedy. They played a handful of shows during 2013, including the Island in the Sun festival held on the Åland Islands, while also working on new music in the studio. The first fruits of their work didn't arrive until mid-2015 with the song "Ticket," which was remixed by Lee "Scratch" Perry
. They played a couple hometown shows that year, then vanished until 2016, when another song, "Work of Art," was released. Both songs were included on the third Burning Hearts album, Battlefields, which was issued by Solina Records
in May of 2017. ~ Margaret Reges, Rovi