Satuo – Earned

Album Review | Self Release | Review by Allan Wilkinson | Stars: 3/5

Vienna-based band Satuo release their third album Earned, which combines the five-piece band’s Austrian, Italian and Finnish musical roots with a dozen easily accessible songs, each imbued with a distinct folk/pop sensibility, whilst at the same time borrowing from French and American influences.  Bright and breezy from the start, the opening strummed guitar intro on “One Day” being an optimistic beginning to what is essentially an ‘up’ record.  The songs are predominantly sung in English, despite the band’s multi-national personnel, with one or two songs sung in the band’s native languages, notably the beautiful “Muista Minua”.  The band’s name translates from Finnish as ‘fable’ or ‘fairy tale’ and the stories here are told with an uplifting delivery.  Laura Maria Korhonen’s voice dominates most of the songs, all of which are treated to fine arrangements throughout, with occasional banjo, mandolin and guitar embellishments, together with Laura’s own musical saw and melodica.  The blues workout based around the traditional gospel song “Motherless Child” opens up an entirely different feel to close the album, with an assured performance that warrants further investigation.  The album comes complete with a 16-page booklet, illustrated by Magdalena Wolf, whose naive artwork rather tastefully complements the songs.