Architecture in Helsinki

"That Beep" is the Eurovision Song Contest winner that Architecture in Helsinki can never have.

It's got the patented AIH dose of elation with healthy lashings of WTF?, a synth-break to rival the World Cup Soccer theme and Kellie Sutherland's effortlessly sly and sexy pop vocal, set to swirl around your head for days: "Dressed up as bubble gum / I'm stuck to your shoe / Let's run." "That Beep" is the first taste of Architecture in Helsinki's post-Places Like This trajectory. 2007's groundbreaking, ground-shifting crossover album Places Like This presented countless threads the band could follow. Their fans have come to expect the unexpected, and so have the band themselves.

Places Like This took the band from much-loved indie contenders to chart-climbing world conquerors. At just over half an hour, it's Architecture in Helsinki's shortest album, but despite its brevity, it's their densest, most idea-packed recording. The album's mind boggling scope encompasses the steel drum-laden, dance floor inducement of "Heart It Races", the frantic stutter-funk of "Debbie", the spastic sexbeat of "Hold Music" and a million other flavours of fun.

Recorded and mixed by New Yorker Chris Coady, Places Like This is a snapshot of the summer Bird spent living in a shoebox apartment in Williamsburg. An extroverted explosion of a record, the band exorcised their collective demons in a joyous celebration of sound.

The album and its associated singles were clad in spectacularly intricate artwork courtesy of renowned UK illustrator and artist, Will Sweeney. Visual aesthetics have always been an integral piece in the Architecture in Helsinki puzzle. From their music to record sleeves to videos to t-shirts, the band present an immersive universe of sound and vision.

Places Like This was recorded and mixed in a month, a fifth of the time it took Architecture in Helsinki to record their previous album In Case We Die in 2005. Bird likens the creation of that record to the building of a model ship, "The way it was going to turn out was very much inside our heads. We slowly pieced it together over five months. It was a much more insular experience." Featuring a cast of over 40 players recorded in a cave-like bunker, the making of the album was a claustrophobic yet communal experience.

In Case We Die was a quantum leap forward from Architecture in Helsinki's 2003 debut, Fingers Crossed, which was the sound of a band finding it's feet. Co-vocalist Kellie Sutherland says, "It was a complete experiment in terms of how things would sound. The record was about us learning to play." The innocence of the album is completely genuine and unconsidered. Architecture in Helsinki have certainly come a long way since the late nineties, when Bird was a gangly kid in a New South Wales country town messing around with his buddies Jamie Mildren and Sam Perry. They moved to Melbourne and soon found likeminded musical souls in Kellie Sutherland and Gus Franklin. The five of them have continued on the Architecture in Helsinki rollercoaster to this day.

Formed in Melbourne, but now just as likely to be found residing in San Francisco, Sao Paolo, Anacortes or New York, Architecture in Helsinki have finally arrived at a place that feels like home. A home that's not a geographical space, but a state of mind.

Their relentless years of touring have turned them in to a live force to be reckoned with. Having played festivals from Munich to Mexico and headlined shows from Bologna to Boston, the band has built a fierce international following. Architecture in Helsinki live shows are a heady blend of sweat, heart and fun. The band thrives on the energy they share with an audience. Their shows are an open expression of communal experience and that rarely felt but precious emotion - joy.

Videos

  • That Beep (3:47)
    Krozm
  • Like It Or Not (2:55)
    Josh Logue
  • Debbie (4:47)
    Josh Logue
  • Heart It Races (3:16)
    Kris Moyes