Burning Hearts: "Into the Wilderness"


By George Bass | 17 July 2011

It’s not the most artistic of Rocky montages, but in Rocky vs Communism when Sly’s plane lands in Russia, and power rockers Survivor chock out “Burning Heart: The Showdown Song,” you just know the director can handle subtlety. After all, if you’ve got a scene in your film treatment that reads “men in ushankas study foreign imperialist in leather flying jacket,” it’s only fair you meet it with the necessary cheese, and lyrics that incorporate rising spires, warrior’s code, and rival nations.

Burning Hearts: The Finnish Indie Quartet couldn’t come from a more contrasting background, despite the fact they also boast an ’80s vibe and a mother country wrapped in permafrost. Backpeddling against the global stereotype that all Fins experiment with death metal, the Hearts’ sweet and melancholy pop songs have built them an impassioned following—one which has already breached Scandinavia and cropped up on blogs as far Auckland. If things go this way they’ll have to hire a promo agency, shoot their own antidote to Rocky IV. Maybe one based on French existentialism where Chubbs from Happy Gilmore gets debated to death by He-Man.

At the moment that’s not going to happen, so instead they’re focusing on debut EP Into the Wilderness, currently being tweeted by teen recluses everywhere. This is the title track, and it’s arranged around a layer of wedding ceremony synths, and Jessika Rapo’s excellent Debbie Harry impression. She’s backed by two guitars—one flamenco, one bass—to create a song about walking away from it all, and what to do after you’ve stopped feeling homesick. The band must’ve read up on Alexander Selkirk, the 17th Century Scot who stayed sane on a desert island by teaching cats to dance (true story), because “Into the Wilderness” is exactly the alternative to drinking water you’d want in the wild. “Into the wilderness / Away from the loneliness,” coos Rapo, confirming you’ll feel more accepted amongst tundra than you will in a small crowd of strangers. She holds together some brilliant sighing harmonies, but then goes on to describe walking with foxes, not realising her own goof: doesn’t she realise fox dung will attract every labrador walker for miles?