Promo shot

Debut single ‘Kafuku’s Wife’ out 13th March 2020 via Soliti

RULES are a Helsinki-based synth-pop duo that weave depth into their sweet and shameless pop-tunes. RULES’ layered songs echo with the irresistible sounds of the 80s and early 00s with a new and contemporary perspective. The lyrics of RULES music are based on characters from world literature, filling gaps, offering new perspectives and bringing forth silenced voices through each performance. Each song creates its own world with a story at the same time specific and universal.

Kakafu's Wife single sleeve

Kafuku’s Wife single sleeve

Iiti Yli-Harja (Pintandwefall) makes the songs based on lyrics by Sarra Keppola, who qualified from university just for this, studying English and world literature. Together they teamed up with Oskari Halsti (SMG, Wedding Crashers) who is behind the lush production of the songs, as well as the drums of the live set-up. 

Of debut single ‘Kafuku’s Wife’, RULES tell us “The Inspiration for the lyric was taken from Haruki Murakami’s short story ”Drive My Car” from Men Without Women; Kafuku is an ageing actor, who in the story is pondering his late wife’s love affairs, of which he was well aware, that she embarked after they lost their infant child. The song is the wife’s attempt to redeem her actions. It becomes a sort of study on the complex emotions and reactions after a terrible loss, as the wife is doing the best she can to move on and to find a way to continue to love and honor her husband. The short story is narrated exclusively from the reminiscing husband’s point of view, so we don’t get the wife’s side ofthe story: the song is an attempt to take the wife’s stance, in order to interpret her actions.”

Watch the video to ‘Kafuku’s Wife’

“I wanted to accompany the melancholy feeling of the song. Iiti’s instagram worked as a spark for the idea of Rules being this ”man who fell to earth” -type of duo, just hanging out in an empty and foreign atmosphere. Other characters show the glimpse of heartbreak and stillness of the city.”  –  video director Anna-Mari Nousiainen.

Song credits
Iiti: lead vocals, synths
Sarra: backing vocals, synths
Oskari: drums
As a guest: Esa Pottonen: guitar

Music: Iiti Yli-Harja
Lyrics: Sarra Keppola
Production : Oskari Halsti
Mixed by : Sami Forsstén
Mastering: Jarno Alho

Listen to ‘Kafuku’s Wife’


Rumba premiered the video
Niche Music
Imperfect Fifth

“you have this well-crafted gem akin to the work of the Knife, only made more accessible by a certain polish to the songwriting. ” Austin Town Hall

“RULES were able to catch a Middle Eastern flavour even with synths and the structure of that first half reminds me very much of Highasakite’s ‘Iran’ with the supporting vocal not dissimilar from Ingrid Helene Håvik’s Bulgarian throat singing on that track.” Nordic Music Review

“The song provides an alternative perspective on the short story Drive My Car by Haruki Murakami, and the theme combines beautifully with the music to capture the sense of loss and search for meaning.” When You Motor Away

“Feelings overlayed with melancholy reminds somewhat of Chromatics and Beach House. When Oskari Halsti is in charge of the production, the overall outcome is groomed, international and interesting.” Alice & June

“Rarely does Finland produce such  cool and smart electronic indie!” Päivän Biisit

Promo shot

Promo shot by Pekka Härkönen

    • Upcoming RULES shows

    • 7.5. Siltanen, Helsinki, Kolmannen asteen klubi
    • 8.5. Vastavirta (yläkerta), Tampere, Kolmannen asteen klubi
    • 9.5. Vaskifest, Vantaa