Tag Archives: music review

Sóley, Ask The Deep

soleyatd

It’s been 4 years since Sóley’s last full-length album, and as they say good things come to those who wait.  Sóley Stefánsdóttir, of Seabear and her own fame has delivered one hell of a finely crafted piece of art with the new album Ask the Deep

While We sink‘ was dark,  Ask the Deep goes further down the rabbit hole.  An internal argument of staying with or leaving devils.  Multiple layers of tribal-like percussion, floating synth, and cascading keys weave a sophisticated and emotional dance creating the perfect background to Sóley’s haunting and rhythmic vocals.  I honestly feel you’d be hard pressed to find such sweet serenades about devils, darkness, and despair anywhere else.

Each listen I give this album brings out a new emphasis in both the instrumental and wording in the songs.  I’ve given it enough listens to safely say it’s far from getting old, this is definitely one of my favorite albums of the year.

The album starts off with the track, ‘Devil’ where Sóley asks if she’s danced with devil, and does he still love her?  A person realizing a personal struggle, or perhaps someone they care about, may be harming them but they’re afraid to live without them.  As the album progresses, it becomes less about how the devil feels and more how the chanteuse realizes her own power and self-worth.

By ‘I will never’ we realize she’s made it through the muck and mire and has come out stronger and standing tall leading into an almost euphoric, cloud clearing/sun shining ‘dreamers’, the most upbeat song on the album.  The album ends with ‘Lost ship’, a final contemplation and realization that letting go will make her responsible for her own life, and is she willing to let the devil go to do so.

The first music video from the album, ‘Halloween’ is surreal and beautiflly done, you can see here:

You can follow Sóley on Facebook, and on her website.  She is touring, see her schedule here.  And she will be in the United States in October for Iceland Affair up in Connecticut.

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Sudden Weather Change

SWC

Sudden Weather Change has been harassing the Icelandic music scene since 2006.   They always put on a good show using both audio and visual nicey-nice-es.  Originally a five piece, their first album, Stop Handgrenade in the name of crib death’nderstand, reminds one of Pavement and other 90’s alternative groups.  “Black Lung” is my favorite track off this album.

In 2010 they won an Iceland music award for best new act with their song “The Whaler”  Now a four piece consisting of Bergur Thomas Anderson (Bass,vocals) Dagur Sævarsson (Guitar) Loji Höskuldsson (Guitar,Vocals) and Oddur Guðmundsson (Drums), they still maintain that alt-90’s feel, but have gotten a lot more heady in their music.

Fast Foward another year and some, and we get my favorite album to date, Sculpture.  Seeming to have evolved into a much more intense, prog-rock gig to me, the Sculpture album is all sorts of good, it reminds me of another great Iceland band called Kimono.  And thus other greats such as Mogwai, Wire, and even a touch of Godspeed you Black Emperor, especially on tracks such as “Proper Flavor” and “Not a line but a circle.”  They are on my list of must-sees this Airwaves go around, and if you’re going to be up there I would suggest making it to their gig as well.

So as I’m still getting used to doing these blogs I thought I would try something new. I have asked the band 4 very important questions that every music fan should ask of the bands they love.  Bergen Anderson, the bass player, was kind enough to reply with the band’s answers:

1. What is your favorite off-venue Airwaves joint to jam at?
–KEX

2. If you combine all of your favorite colors, what do you get?
–Pale green

3. What are 3 of your favorite little known bands of Icelandic origin?
Skátar, Enkídu and bob  (I have to note, I took artistic license and linked to my favorite Skátar track)

4. If you could be any creature playing your favorite song, what would the creature be? And what is the song.
–I´d be a cat, singing “Summer Wine”, like Nancy Sinatra.
You can find out more about the band here:

Band’s website // Facebook page // Gogoyoko profile
I really look forward to seeing a cat bass player covering Summer Wine in Iceland this year, and methinks you really should check them out, and if you want to follow me on Gogoyoko, my userid is Ragnaarb.