Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Olof Arnalds to release album

After two critically lauded and uncannily beautiful albums, Iceland’s Ólöf Arnalds announces her second US release, Sudden Elevation, out March 5 on One Little Indian Records.  The album, Arnalds’ third, is comprised of twelve self-penned tracks all sung in English and is melodically opulent, narratively compelling, and exquisitely rendered.

Produced by Skúli Sverrisson and largely recorded in a two-week, partially snowed-in, autumn 2011 stint in a seaside cabin in Hvalfjörður (literally ‘Whale-fjord’), in the west of Iceland, with overdubs and mixing at Ólöf’s house in Reykjavík and at Sigur Rós’s Sundlaugin (Swimming Pool) studio at Álafoss, Sudden Elevation finds Ólöf inhabiting a drier, more stripped-back sound than was previously the case. While Ólöf’s voice, acoustic guitar and charango are once again the central focus, there is also subtle but luminous colouring from koto harp, keyboards and electric guitar, all played by Ólöf, as well as the odd, deftly applied swell of a string section. There are cameos from Ólöf’s two sisters: Klara Arnalds duets sunnily on ‘Bright and Still’ and ‘Numbers and Names’ while Dagný Arnalds essays the devastating piano part in ‘Return Again’. Skúli Sverrisson plays bass and electric guitar (including a high-pitched octave 12-string Shorty instrument) on several tracks, while Magnús Trygvason Eliassen adds gossamer drum parts to ‘German Fields’ and ‘A Little Grim’.
Ólöf’s liquid, finger-picked guitar or South American charango, intermittently ornamented by various degrees of chamber orchestration, has won legions of fans around the globe.  Her vigorous and wide touring schedule has placed her performing alongside artists such as Dirty Projectors, Blonde Redhead, John Vanderslice and Björk (sometime collaborator) who once described Ólöf’s uniquely compelling vocal sound as “somewhere between a child and an old woman.”  All of which is good going for a singer who started her musical life fighting chronic stage nerves only to deliver her deeply personal songs in that most magical yet, let’s face it, hardly universally accessible mother tongue, Icelandic.

One Little Indian Announces NYC Office

This is shaping up to be a great year for One Little Indian Records. The seminal UK label has opened a New York City office and has returned to the US with a renewed enthusiasm and the adventurous sounds they are known for. 2013 will see new releases from Bjork, Stubborn Heart, The Computers, Marc Carroll, HK119 and of course Olof Arnalds.
Sudden Elevation Tracklisting:
1 – German Fields
2 – Bright And Still
3 – Return Again
4 – Treat Her Kindly
5 – Call It What You Want
6 – A Little Grim
7 – Fear Less
8 – Numbers And Names
9 – Sudden Elevation
10 – The Joke
11 – Onwards And Upwards
12 - Perfect
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