Misfit Heart
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Poets of the Fall – False Kings 2020

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False Kings is Poets of the Fall‘s first single that preceded the release of their 8th album Ultraviolet in 2018. After a melody that could have very well been used for a James Bond movie, it feels almost anti-climatic to get an acoustic version at the Alexander Theatre. Be that as it may, same melody but completely different atmosphere which I like very much. The feel of the music is, to me, a bit Mediterranean… had they shot the video on a beach or at the terrace of a cafe in the South of France, it would have been quite fitting… maybe not with the lyrics though  😆

Soft spot for strings

False Kings is the sixth episode from Poets of the Fall Alexander Theatre Sessions. I mean, six is quite enough to notice the pattern, wouldn’t you say? Well, I did not until episode 7 Angel. Anyway, I have deduced that episode 6 was filmed on day 2 (or at least under the same day as episodes 4 and 5). On that episode, I saw something I was very much looking forward to as soon as bass player Jani Snellman first appeared in these videos: his smile! You know me, I love it when people I care about smile and Jani‘s smile is beautifully contagious.
Photo Jani by Tiia Öhman Photography & Design

Yes, I’ve got a soft spot for the man, so sue me 😛 He is an incredible musician, period.  I love it even more when he plays the double bass (or is it called contra-bass?) which, on False Kings‘ episode, sounds awesome. I mean in the intro, from 0:43 to 0:45, I know! It is just a note (I think), but it gives such a kick start to the song! Through the entire song, I cannot get my eyes off of Jani. He smiles with his eyes… just a little, almost unperceptive, but it’s there.
Photo Jaska & Olli by Tiia Öhman Photography & Design
False Kings video shoot - Jaska & Olli chilling

On that episode, there is a little more of this silent communication between Jaska Mäkinen and Olli Tukiainen I love so much. Their guitar playing is complementing each other and, to me, it shows even more on this version of False Kings… unless I am attending one of their gigs, and there, the complicity is not comparable  😉 . Olli‘s solo has this “je ne sais quoi” that stings like a magic spell. Absolutely gorgeous!

Who are the False Kings?

Lately, I have watched a few reaction videos about Poets of the Fall songs which I added to my YouTube Channel… some reactions are more interesting and fun to watch than others, but one of them made me ponder on how accessible False Kings lyrics are to the non-initiated. The fans know the album Ultraviolet is about the unseen, the temptation within, the outside influence around us and how to deal – or not – with all that. Some of that thematic transpires in False Kings and is obvious to most listeners. According to me though, the strength of the song lies in the less obvious, the hints thrown here and there to make one think outside the box.

We are kings (and queens), meaning that we are in control or think that we are. The use of the word suggests control and mastering of our lives. Evidently, who is ever in control, right?! So comes the adjective “false”, and that particular word does not imply anything unconscious. It is a conscious choice, therefore choosing to lie to the world – and ourselves – that we ever were in control. News flash people, nobody’s perfect and thank whomever for that  :D. So anyway, to get the meaning behind the lyrics, one single listening to the song won’t cut it… and it is true for all Poets of the Fall‘s work… get digging!

False Kings’ voice

Because the music gives another feel to the song, Marko Saaresto‘s is changing – only just slightly – his way of telling us the story. His singing is flawless as usual. He builds up the climax beautifully but I remember when I first watched / listened to False Kings at the Alexander Theatre, I went twice like “wait what?!” New chills formed on my skin and I fell in love with this version.
Snip-clip from Official False Kings video… Misfit@Heart – Photography: Tiia Öhman & Markus Kaarlonen

It happened at 2:50 till 3:06 when Marko does this soft high pitch vocalise. At that moment, the editing of the video made me feel so happy. The close up – first on Jani, then Marko and finally Jaska – was perfect to the feel at that time of the song. Marko goes into almost a whisper at 4:08 to bring up the intensity at 4:28 that left me breathless. As I said: flawless!
Snip-clip from Official False Kings video… Misfit@Heart – Photography: Tiia Öhman & Markus Kaarlonen

False Kings never was my favourite track on the album. I liked it, of course, but in my opinion it paled in comparison to My Dark Disquiet (previous track on the album). This version of the song, however, has made me reconsider how great it is.

Now, don’t forget Wednesday, August 26th is the premiere to Episode 8 on Poets of the Fall Official YouTube Channel. Make sure to come in advance to chat with the guys! In the meantime, enjoy Poets of the Fall – False Kings (Alexander Theatre Sessions / Episode 6)

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