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Single Premiere: Mikaela Finne's 'What If I'

By Amanda Wicks

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Finnish-born and Swedish-based singer/songwriter Mikaela Finne channels Nashville’s honky tonk sound in her new alt-country song ‘What If I’, premiering exclusively at Holler. Listen below.

Finne's Scandinavian approach to Americana offers listeners a fresh perspective. She captures the genre’s spirit and style while putting her own unique - and honest - spin on it.

Against warm, twangy electric guitar and a rollicking beat, Finne details how she’s not willing to rush into anything romantic without first thinking it through. “So what if I just want to stop and think it all over“? she sings in a distinctive alto.

Finne has learned enough about herself to know she needs time and she's not afraid to ask for it. “I don’t know what to tell you/ I’m an independent and stubborn lady”, she sings with a hint of vibrato, her voice laying her cards on the table.

“This song is about being ok with who I am, being proud of the journey I’m on and that there’s no man, woman or anything else in the world that’ll change that path“, Finne told Holler. “It’s about saying no. It’s about thinking twice about someone’s intentions when you suddenly feel that they want you to be someone you’re not“.

“When I was writing this, I was thinking a lot about past relationships and almost relationships in general, and I realized that so many of them had one thing in common – being rushed and not thought through. And that’s when the line, 'What If I', kind of popped up in my head, and the rest seemed to write itself“.

Finne grew up listening to country music thanks to her father, who regularly played Dolly Parton and Creedence. Those warm sounds influenced her songwriting, which also draws on heavy metal.

“The word ‘outlaw’, for me, [means] you do something that you love regardless of what anybody else thinks about what you’re doing”, Finne said. “When I was a teenager, the music and the heavy metal that I listened to were totally outlaw”.

‘What If I’ appears on Finne's forthcoming album Time Stands Still, out August 27. Brady Blade (Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle and the Dukes) produced the album.

Finne was set to support Caleb Caudle on tour in 2020, but COVID interrupted those plans. She found herself bursting with creative energy and no immediate outlet. To channel some of that, Finne called Blade, assembled a band, and recorded Time Stands Still with a live-take feel that infuses every track with warmth and vitality. And, of course, Finne's trademark tell-it-like-it-is attitude.