Finnish slide guitarist and singer-songwriter Erja Lyytinen is pleased to announce the release of her brand new single Without You – taken from her upcoming album in the fall. The new single was written and composed by Erja and recorded with her brand new band including Kasperi Kallio (keyboards), Tatu Back (bass) and Iiro Laitinen (drums).
Says Erja Lyytinen about writing the single,” I started writing Without You a few years back, but never found the right moment to finish it. So I brought the song into the rehearsal studio at the beginning of 2018 and the band and I started to work on it. It´s funny how much a song might change alongside one’s playing over the years! The arrangement was completely different at first with some R&B elements but it turned out to be something that I´m keen doing on stage nowadays – it’s loud, rocky and frank!”
“The song is about a person who is searching for the feeling she had with someone who´s no longer available. It is dealing with the phenomenon of how the human mind obsesses about something or someone that is out of a person’s reach.”
The new single will be accompanied by an amazing music video to be released on Friday 23rd March. “It was ‘cool’ doing the music video,” says Erja. I mean that literally, because we were at the warehouse when we shot the video in the freezing cold! There was no heating and we shot the video during the coldest time of winter in Helsinki. It was still a lot of fun, as this is my first music video with the band being involved, so we had a good energy through the session and lots of hot tea!”
Erja has already been confirmed for a headlining UK tour in November 2018 to support the release of her upcoming album. You can be sure to hear Erja playing Without You live then.
ERJA LYYTINEN – NOVEMBER 2018 UK TOUR
London, Borderline Tuesday 6 November
Bridgwater, Bar Brunel Wednesday 7 November
Wolverhampton, Robin 2 Thursday 8 November
Darlington, R&B Club Friday 9 November
Bude, Blues Festival Sunday 11 November
Since first entering a recording studio some 15 years ago, singer/guitarist Erja Lyytinen has become a bona fide star in her homeland and a fixture on the international music scene. In that time, “the Finnish slide goddess” (The Blues Magazine) has recorded in places as diverse as Helsinki, London and Memphis, earning numerous accolades along the way. Rooted in both traditional and modern blues, she successfully blends styles like jazz, pop, soul and rock into a sound all her own. Celebrated slide guitar master Sonny Landreth, upon discovering Lyytinen’s music recently, remarked: “I sure enjoyed her guitar skills. She’s obviously made a big name for herself. Things are going well for her and for good reason.”
Born into a musical family in the town of Kuopio, Lyytinen quickly emerged as an artist to watch in her native country. She recorded her international debut Pilgrimage after signing with Germany’s prestigious Ruf Records label in 2005. The 2006 Blues Caravan tour gave audiences in Europe and the United States a first taste of her spirited live performances. The solo follow-up Dreamland Blues took her back to the USA to record with David and Kinney Kimbrough (sons of Mississippi blues legend Junior Kimbrough). After two years on the road, she returned with Grip of the Blues in 2008, mixing hard-edged blues with modern R&B. Her 2010 release Voracious Love was even more adventurous: The lavishly orchestrated “Bed of Roses” – featuring contributions from Marco Hietala (Nightwish) on vocals and Apocalyptica cellist Paavo Lötjönen – showed once and for all that Lyytinen is unafraid to push the stylistic envelope. With 2013’s Forbidden Fruit, she returned to more familiar territory.
Canada’s Blues Underground Network chose The Sky Is Crying as Best European Blues Album and Best Tribute Album of 2014. It also placed in the top three international albums of 2014 as chosen by writers at Britain’s Blues Matters, who also honored Erja as the #2 international solo artist.
The Elmore James tribute The Sky Is Crying proved to be a breakthrough. Released in 2014, it was universally hailed as her best and bluesiest recording to date. This collection of stripped-down, old-school blues convinced even the most discerning listeners that Lyytinen’s feel for the blues runs deep and that as a slide player, she has few peers. Live in London, a sizzling live set of Elmore James covers and original material released a year later, culminated with Erja being voted the #1 international solo artist by Blues Matters and Artist of the Year at the Finnish Blues Awards.
For her latest studio album Stolen Hearts, set for release in early 2017, Lyytinen convened a talented group of musicians in Helsinki in the summer of 2016, then ventured to London’s State of the Ark Studios to record with multi-platinum selling engineer and producer Chris Kimsey, known above all for his contributions to classic Rolling Stones albums like Sticky Fingers and Some Girls. In fact, Stolen Hearts was mixed on the very same EMI console Kimsey had often used with the Stones. “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 Mastering (part of the world-famous Air Studios started by Beatles producer George Martin) by Ray Staff, whose credits include iconic rock albums such as David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and Mott The Hoople’s All The Young Dudes.
Not coincidentally, 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 calls 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.” 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.”
Fans seem to agree with this because Erja barely had time to breathe since Stolen Hearts has been released. In addition to two successful tours throughout the UK and her Blue Christmas tour with Sami Saari and Maria Hänninen across Finland, she also took part in the Finnish TV-show Tähdet, Tähdet (Stars, Stars) and sang for half a million people each week. The icing on the cake came in late November 2017 when it was announced that Erja won a European Blues Award for “Best Guitarist”. Finally, in December 2017, Erja was voted the 7th best blues guitarist in a poll of The MusicRadar in which 136,000 votes have been cast.