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Review by Páll Stefánsson.
What is Pascal Pinon? Named after the Two-Headed Mexican (1889-1929), it’s a duo comprised of twin sisters Jófríður and Ásthildur Ákadóttir. They recently released their second album Twosomeness, recorded and produced by Alex Somers, the producer of Sigur Rós and Jónsi.
And what a great record. I’m hooked on the 12 intimate songs. The sound is unified, a kind of twosomeness which is hard to describe. The twins have created a special mood on their album. When listening to it you find yourself in a realm where everything seems to fall into place. My favorite track is ‘Þerney (one thing),’ where they sing: “I don’t need anything; I just make something beautiful.”
And last year was a pretty good year in music in Iceland so instead of just taking memories back home and some crappy images after your windy trip to Iceland, you should buy some music, Icelandic music.
Here are the ten best records made in Iceland last year, in no particular order:
First is the great and mournful Exorcise by the indie folk pop group Tilbury. Or should Dýrð í dauðaþögn by pop/rock artist Ásgeir Trausti—a great songwriter and even better singer—be first on the list? This is his debut album and the bestselling album of the year by far. Number three is Þar sem himinn ber við haf by Jónas Sigurðsson, his third; some great melodic music.
And fourth on the list is Hjaltalín with their new album Enter 4, interesting and good pop music. Also released in 2012 was Ojba Rasta by the reggae band Ojba Rasta. We should also not forget God’s Lonely Man by super guitarist Pétur Ben.
Alternative pop band Retro Stefson will go on tour this month in the lead up to the international release of their eponymous album in March. The band Valdimar from Keflavík also released a great album, Um stund. The band’s lead singer Valdimar, has one of the best voices in the Republic. Not sure if the band is named after him.
Last on the list should be the first album of 2013, and by far the best so far, Flowers by one of my favorite artists, Sing Fang. He is the master of mood.
OK, now we have ten albums but here are five more which could or should be on the list. Moses Hightower with Önnur Mósebók, Ghostigital with Division of Culture & Tourism, Nóra with Himinbrim, and last but not least Borko with Born to be Free.
The above records are available on icelandicmusic.com.
Set yourself free with great and new Icelandic music.
Páll Stefánsson - firstname.lastname@example.org