Marko Nyberg is pleased to be back home. “Helsinki is a really beautiful place, especially at this time of the year, all the trees are so full of colour, it’s really beautiful.”
Having just returned to autumnal Finland from the United States, Marko is filled with memories of how Husky Rescue started. “It was exactly five years ago,” he tells me, as if recounting a fairy tale to a wide-eyed urchin, “when I started building a small studio.” The tale goes on, becoming more intriguing when Marko mentions the actions of the guy living upstairs. “He caused a flood, trying to fix his bath. Everything was wet, the walls, the floor, my new studio…” However, luckily for Marko, the consequences of the flood were not as bad as they could have been. Although without electricity, the resulting candles created an atmosphere that Marko and his soon to be band-mate, Ville Rippa, were able to use to start making the music that felt natural to them. “It was really moving,” he explains, “it was autumn, really dark, and we just started to make music.” Husky Rescue was thus born, out of candles and a broken bathtub.
“It was really moving,” he explains, “it was autumn, really dark, and we just started to make music.”
Originally a freelance producer, Marko set about producing a Husky Rescue EP that was soon picked up by Brighton based label, Catskills. “Because I had been producing music for such a long period of time, I really found out what sort of music I wanted to produce,” he explains. “There are plenty of choices when playing music and Husky Rescue was just natural to me.” The resulting album was released on Catskills in 2004. Entitled ‘Country Falls’, it is a collection of songs that trickle along with soft, warm vocals and sleepy, melodic arpeggios. With production reminiscent of 4Hero and I Monster, it takes the listener on a gentle, but beautiful journey.
Since 2004 though, Husky Rescue has grown, in both stature as well as in active participants. Whereas ‘Country Falls’ was basically conceived almost entirely by Marko but aided by a host of separate, carefully selected musicians, the forthcoming album is more of a traditional band affair. Original candle-holder, Ville Rippa has joined bassist Marko on Keyboard, along with Aussi Sopanen on drums and Miika Colliander on guitar. The final position in the group is taken up by Reeta-Leena Korhola, whose gorgeous, sleepy vocals fit the Husky Rescue bill perfectly.
Marko is therefore keen to stress that Husky Rescue has developed from the boy in the candle-lit-bedroom group it started as into a more inclusive affair. “The second record was recorded in more of a live format,” clarifies Marko. “It is much more compact in a way because we are only playing together as a five piece band. It’s been a natural build up over this whole two year period.”
And Marko seems happy with the result. “It’s a really odd thing if you really start thinking what happens when people are playing together,” he explains. “But if your best friend is playing the drums and you are playing the bass, it’s just really magical.”
Words by Simon Cooper
Big Chill Festival 2010