There’s nothing seemingly as pervasive in the global music scene as dream pop these days, and if Helsinki-based GEA has anything to say about it, they can be just as captivating as any other Scandinavian act. On Butterflies, the most recent release from GEA, ethereal vocals and a resoundingly hazy duo of guitar and synthesizer hearken back to an era where Bronte sisters imagery reigned supreme and Northern Europe ruled as the melting pot for the locale of utterly strange yet romantic variations of pop.
Vocalist Gea flexes her wide and otherworldly range throughout Butterflies, from The Kick Inside variant of “Friendly Hoax” to an PJ Harvey-esque turn on “Alone.” Gea, however, commits to her unique sound by way of two unique weapons – the titular Butterfly imagery persisting throughout the record and reliance upon multi-instrumentalist Mikko H. Haapoja’s ability to channel the traditional sounds of neighboring countries (The Emerald Isle, Iceland) through expert string sections and electronic variations.
Much like other artists in their geographic area, the group provides a codified language that can only be classified as “likely English” but something that sounds Elven or a smattering of several languages altogether. This slightly garbled tongue is one of the greatest advantages of Butterflies, a mysterious and enchanting communiqué that symbolizes personal evolution on the record (evolution that would otherwise be mirrored on a lyric sheet.)
Butterflies may stand as GEA’s deeply personal realization, but it is without a doubt thoroughly representative of a more international phenomenon. Dream pop is here to stay, and GEA is well-founded practitioner of the genre.