GEA are an ambient indie pop group out of Finland who have been slowly releasing singles from their LP Butterflies since late last year. Critics hailed “Pink” and “Alone,” which now appear on the album, as a cross between Bjork and Tori Amos with their piano-infused electronica, but now that the full album has been released, it’s clear that they are in a category all their own.
The most striking thing about GEA is their ability to weave traditional Scandanavian instruments and sounds into what is generally an ambient song base. This caught the band quite a bit of critical attention ahead of the release of Butterflies, but no one was prepared for how varied this album would be. Because the first two singles largely followed similar structures, tracks like the almost completely analog “Little Detail” and “Wind,” which borders on experimental due to its incorporation of recorded sounds were complete surprises, although now unpleasant ones.
What makes Butterflies most interesting from an electronic standpoint is how the group uses traditional, almost folk-adjacent beat structures in many of their tracks like “Followers” and “Real You and Me” but turns them into ambient electronic beats, adding a modern context but also a deeper layer than both the average indie pop and the average ambient. It also very much re-affirms what Bjork and some others say about electronic music indeed being ancient and tribal, no matter what compositional medium is used. In GEA’s case it’s a mix of analog and electronic media, and the result is stark and gorgeous.