Finland's finest purveyor of expanded progressive pop melancholy, Underwater Sleeping Society are sleeping no more. The short hiatus the band went on after the album Dead Vegas (2008) streched to almost seven years of absence, and now, after last year's run of strong comeback shows around Finland UwSSoc have emerged from the studio, ready to unleash their fourth full length album, titled Instrumental Healthcare.
Underwater Sleeping Society's chosen brand of art is what one could call "deep pop", a mixture of contagious, timeless pop melodies presented with the creative vigour of a progressive musician, all coated with a certain northern bittersweet melancholy. The band's first album Future On A Plate (2004) received high praise and drew comparisons to artists such as The Flaming Lips, Nick Drake and Super Furry Animals. The band´s second album All Other Lights Go Out (2007), produced by Aku Rannila and 22-Pistepirkko´s Asko Keränen, and the 2008 follow-up Dead Vegas took the band further, with several tours around Europe.
The band's primus motor Jussi Hietala comments on the birth of the band's fourth album:
- Instrumental Healthcare was given a slow birth during 2014 and 2015. This was preceded by a few years which it took for us to learn how to be a band again, after a long break. We rehearsed once a week, jammed, played each others' instruments and just played for the joy of playing. On an emotional level the album is the fruit of that period, even though much of the music was composed later.
Instrumental Healthcare is, most of all, a whole. The song cycle tells a story which depicts the fragile state of the human mind and the changes it has to go through. Although the story is told through the eyes of a personal protagonist, it is possible to interpret it as social commentary. Or maybe it's all in the imagination? Regardless of the story arc this is not a concept album, because all of the material works as stand alone tracks as well. The group recommends that Instrumental Healthcare should be approached with concentration and high volume levels.