Deep Elm, 2013
For a Swedish duo made up of members of Moonlit Sailor, and a record which goes by the name Dreamer On The Run, this sounds pretty much how you’d imagine: restful, navelgazing, guitar- and piano-driven post-rock. It’s the soundtrack for an unashamedly hopeful movie, and never strays far from that uplifting intent. A fairly tame listen then, but a consistently pleasant one.
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When Iceland produces alt-rock it’s a whole different story to that which we’re accustomed. Harps, pianos, and cellos all help Mùm’s brand of glacial, gentle pop that shifts from sparse lullabies to intricate melodies, complete with glitchy moments and experimental ideas. Atmospheric, synth-heavy, often stripped back and even danceable on occasion, this sixth album finds a balance between acoustic and electronic in a way few others could. You know you’re doing something right when Fugazi members are blogging about your album.
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Western Vinyl, 2013
The first solo disc of Icelandic notable Ulfur Hansson, these seven tracks collect random field recordings from his travels, assembling them into a soothing and unique listen of ambient ideas. From the sounds of birds to stones hitting water, plenty of organic noises are plugged into layers of harps, flutes, violins, and mandolins, among the standard guitars and slight drumming. An artistic listen of intimate and warm sounds, this is both meditative and awe-inspiring.
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The solo outlet for Seabear’s singer, Sin Fang’s third album is a very full listen, yet is anchored by the beauty that Iceland is so known for. Jangly-indie rock and driving guitars are complemented by charming synth and gentle strings, as the layered vocals sit well with the electro and chamber pop tones. This one has it all – big pop hooks, fast rhythms mixed with quieter ebbs, and a focused power and grace unique to each track.
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“Me and You Under the Aurora Borealis”; thus is the opening track of Elara’s three track EP titled, and thus is the rest of this review rendered fairly redundant, as it tells you more about the music than I ever could. But just in case you’ve got nothing better to do: the Italian trio go for a sound that’s heavy on the light and airy, its dreamy instrumental post-rock relentlessly soothing, every elongated guitar and prettily plinked piano tuned to ‘uplifting’. Me and you under the Aurora Borealis, probably with a flask of hot tea and adorable ear muffs. Hug?
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A one woman band, Eleanor Logan’s interest in noise-pop, post-punk and synth-pop come through in a cinematic and often dark delivery. Her choice of instruments and organic recording process make this a truly unique listen, her atmospheric and dreamy songs often bordering on hypnotic. This is blurry, hazy pop music at its finest, ideal for the in-depth listener.
Links: Site | Soundcloud | Amazon