Singer-songwriter Frida Andersson’s star is not so much on the rise as it is shooting straight up. Last year she made a splash in the airwaves with her debut single Messed Up Little Kid. In September she released her first album, a compilation of beautiful country and soul-tinged songs, written by Andersson herself and top Finnish tunesmiths like Teemu Brunila and Anna Eriksson.

Besides her angelic features, honeyed vocals and enchanting stage presence, Andersson’s determination and passion for music have made the young artist one of the most promising newcomers to enter the talent-hungry Finnish pop scene. Next up, the 21-year-old Finland-Swedish songstress is gearing up to take on the rest of the Nordic countries.

The early 1970s suffered from musical apartheid with rock, jazz, reggae and soul all maintaining a purity that would embarrass fascists. The youth were herded by the music industry into clearly defined musical pens while the artists had to create ‘product’ to suit. Something had better change. And it did. Bands like The Stranglers sleazed nicely on the Doors, The Clash rioted on reggae and rockabilly, the Ramones blitzed on the Stooges; a kaleidoscopic plunder of the musical DNA of the time all set to a backdrop of DIY and anti-establishment.

After The Healer solidified Sister Flo’s position as the gold standard in indie pop in 2007, the band’s future appeared somewhat opaque. Now, after two years of silence, out of deep space lands new album AU. While the folksy and pop-sensible Healer was carried by general spiritual and personal themes, the new album is a plunge into the world of hard sci-fi and experimental electronics, the musical equivalent of a Tarkovski film.

“We figured some people might be a bit surprised by this,” notes bassist Mikko Salonen over the phone. “I’m fully expecting this album to get some mixed reviews.”

Midwinter is undoubtedly a period of reflection and contemplation, the one time of the year when many folks even go to church and maybe meditate on their fate. Well, even if that’s only for us contemplative souls, there is always plenty on offer in churches for musical souls at this time of year.

In the heart of Helsinki’s Kallio, Benjamin Britten’s St Nicholas Cantata comes to life alongside soloist Niall Chorell, with the audience anticipated to play an integral role. In the spirit of community activity, the programme includes a rehearsal session for all those intending to attend the performance. This might be a challenge for...

SAXOPHONIST, composer and bandleader Timo Lassy is a central player in the booming Helsinki jazz scene. With credentials including Five Corners Quintet and U-Street All Stars, Lassy has been at the forefront of the contemporary jazz movement in Finland, salvaging the music from critical ivory towers and fostering new audiences. His new album Round Two illustrates Lassy’s passion for the soulful sound of the golden age of jazz. SixDegrees asked the sax man why 1960s modern jazz is the bee’s knees.