Music Reviews

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Ôlafur Arnalds

Living Room Songs

Erased Tapes

Iceland may have led the world into financial crisis by trading fishing futures for overpriced banks, but deep in their hearts the Icelanders know isolation, cold winds, and ever-present volcanism. This leads to some bad financial decisions and some really cool ambient music composed in their geothermal hot tubs under the midnight sun.

Arnalds has six albums and three film scores under his parka, and now offers us these seven Living Room Songs. They were each composed in a day and recorded that night in his living room in front of a small group of friends. Unlike show tunes and pop tunes and rock tunes, these are never based on a snappy melody or a clever lyric; Arnalds’s music is moody and environmental, calming and chilling, like a cold drizzle that won’t let up until you’re soaked and a cold wind flows down to the Norwegian Sea. A bump of BrennivÃn would help, but barring that, I’ll just nibble on a piece of hákarl. Throw some more peat moss on the fire.

Ôlafur Arnalds: www.erasedtapes.comwww.livingroomsongs.olafurarnalds.com


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