Olof Arnalds

Fri, Feb 8, 2013, 00:00

Sudden Elevation, One Little Indian ***

For a country of just 319,000 people, Iceland continues to exhibit a prolific musical streak. Sudden Elevation is the one-time Múm member’s third album, and it’s a release more deliberately honed for a wider audience than the previous brace. Much of this is down to Arnalds singing in English throughout, although this move to wider accessibility doesn’t dilute the poetic, soulful songs that have been her calling card since the start. They’re bolstered by Skuli Sverrisson’s subtle, sympathetic arrangements and especially Arnalds’s distinctive warble of a voice. The opening German Fields is a peach in this regard, a song that playfully skips between pop and folk corners, while A Little Grim and Return Again are elegant, bittersweet, emotional tales about heartbreak and love.

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Download: German Fields, A Little Grim