This blog usually focuses on matters Estonian, so this post might seem a bit non-canonical - but Kerija Kaleja, from Riga, was one of the music-industry pundits assessing demos at Tallinn Music Week 2014, which was where we met. At that point her band, Astra The 22's, had already recorded the song "Catwoman", a pretty visceral lyric turned into a powerful rock tune, not dissimilar to Paramore in my opinion.
Kerija and her band-mate Eric Jayk are back with the follow-up single, "Save Me", and it's the kind of tune that appears designed to sound fresh on the radio. This one I first heard in the middle of an intensely stressful workday, and it propelled me back to some of my favourite FM-rock ballads of the eighties. "Alone" by Heart is an obvious marker, as is Kim Carnes' "Bette Davis Eyes". These are songs you can identify from the first chord. "Save Me" is propelled along on a bed of distorted guitar and tubthumping drums, and Kerija's voice is strong enough to give the ballad real sensitivity and meaning.
As Kerija says, "the story and the meaning of the song is that no matter where people are in this world or what is happening to them, they all have the same emotions, such as sadness, loneliness or love, and pretty much everyone is looking for the same emotions." The song was mixed in New York by Kyle Kelso and mastered in Los Angeles by Howie Weinberg.
Astra The 22's will be playing gigs in Estonia in the autumn, so you'll have the chance to hear them close-up very soon.
Have a listen to it and let us know what you think.