Cats of Transnistria announce their sophomore album Opium, share video for Candy Man

We’re happy to announce that Cats of Transnistria return with their sophomore album ‘Opium’, released via Soliti on the 2nd February 2018. ‘Candy Man’ is the second single from ‘Opium’. The music video is a re-cut of the visually enthralling film ‘Svengali’ (1931), re-edited by Heta Saukkonen and Henna Hietamäki. The story of the film is based on the mind controlling musician who hypnotises a young belle to fall under his spell. The themes of love, submission, and control are repeated within the story of the song.

Watch the video for ‘Candy Man:

The album title ’Opium’ refers to two points of reference – Cats of Transnistria vocalist Henna Emilia Hietamäki expands on this: “Firstly, it depicts the atmosphere and the impact of the album. One of the ambitions behind our slowly pulsating music is to soothe the nervous system. The second meaning can be found in the repeated themes behind the songs: hedonism, escapism, addiction and losing oneself.”

The album was recorded and mixed by guitarist and sound designer Tuomas Alatalo. Being in total control of the recording process is a further step for the band in widening the soundscapes and being even more specific to the world Cats of Transnistria are creating. In addition to Hietamäki and Alatalo, the violinist Sanna Komi is featured on the album, adding profound beauty through her string arrangements.

Photo by Heta Saukkonen

Listen ‘Candy Man’ on the following platforms:

Initial reaction to ‘Candy Man’:

“Candy Man might well be the Helsinki trio’s most powerfully compelling work to-date, a steady but swelling six-and-a-half minute opus that broods and bends and channels a complex darkness into something wholly captivating.” Gold Flake Paint

“…another profoundly heartfelt, evocative and blissful journey into ethereal and emotional darkly soundscapes made of minimal sparse guitar layers intricately interwoven with the bewitching and mesmerizing Henna’s voice. A burst of bedazzling brilliance that will awaken your senses.” WhiteLight/WhiteHeat

“It’s a beautiful, ethereal, gothic masterpiece. Play this and the ghosts will come rushing in.” SWIT

“The opening moments of the song are dominated by the deepened tones of string arrangements, sprinkled with atmospheric flourishes behind. It’s actually a sparse track, even when the angelic vocals twist and turn inside the track, allowing the audience to extract their own emotions from the song. A dark wash on the video only reinforces the solemnity offered by the Finnish trio.” Austin Town Hall

“Kysymyksessä onkin ilahduttava tuotos kaikille vanhojen aikojen Hollywoodin ystäville. Video on nimittäin Heta Saukkosen ja Henna Hietamäen uusi leikkaus vuonna 1931 julkaistusta Svengali-elokuvasta. Sekä leffassa että kappaleessa käsitellään samoja rakkauden, alistumisen ja kontrollin teemoja.” Soundi

‘Love’ was the first taste from their forthcoming sophomore release.

Cats of Transnistria describe the song:Love’ is exceptionally delicate, aerial and light for us. But the love talked about is, obviously, not real or healthy.”

Initial reaction to ‘Love’:

“Tuomas Alatalo’s anxious, stripped-back guitar rhythm provides the only solid foothold here, as slowly, layer on layer of Henna Hietamäki’s siren vocals pull us out, to sink deep down to somewhere only she’s been. ‘Love’ beautifully depicts its subject musically and lyrically, playing on its unattainability and treachery and the illusion of love.The addition of Sanna Komi’s subtle violin textures greatly broadens the scope of their sound, recalling the spectral arrangements of late 80’s 4AD bands like This Mortal Coil and His Name Is Alive.” Ja Ja Ja

“This is a fantastic piece of work that will be high on the end of year lists” SWIT

“A celestial indie treasure from 2017.” One Quart Magazine

“With lovely, haunting vocals over a minimalist arrangement, it is going to get repeated plays from yours, truly.” When You Motor Away

“As the track unfolds, tiny touches of strings and piano float in and out, creating a beautiful haunted atmosphere that will take you off into the ether.” Austin Town Hall

Photo by Heta Saukkonen

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