This guy has toured with Sigur Ros and Jonsi but don't hold that against him. This is understated stuff full of piano twinkles and folky guitars and hushed vocals. More in common with Kings of Convenience than any sky scraping post rockers. Lovely, fluid, darkly insidious folk music with nods all the way back to Nick Drake and all the many melancholic folk pickers in between.
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- Innhverfi by Obo
9/10 sel 29th January 2017
Please, play it again… and again. And every time, get a bit deeper into the trees, slowly down the mossy paths, the trees, the lakes, following the creek, deeper, deeper into the darkness of the woods…
… and finally reach a clearing. Sunlight floating in, light and airy, the chirping of the water, lying on the green grass, flowers, butterflies.
A beautiful low and velvety baritone voice, the Icelandic ‘rrrrr’ tickling the tummy, spoken vocals, narrating rather than singing, humming obliviously, sonorous and soothing.
The Icelandic lyrics give it a feeling of intimacy, like peeping into the little world of Ólafur Björn Ólafsson, or short Óbó.
“Innhverfi”, the title of Sigur Rós' and Jónsi's touring keyboard player and percussionist*, is a made up word of the Icelandic words for "suburbs" and "introvert”. Seven songs introducing into the vast glands of wonders of imagination of his musical backyard, a special place, hidden from the public, private and peculiar. Other than the post- rock giants, Óbó is staying very close to the ground. No high flights into the post rock universe, but organic observations of the mysteries of the surface of the earth.
His friends Borgar Magnason, Frank Arnink, Kristín Þóra Haraldsdóttir, Rebekka Björnsdóttir, Róbert Sturla Reynisson, Sturlaugur Jón Björnsson, Snorri Heimisson, þórarinn Már Guðmundsson, Tinna Kristjánsdóttir, Úlfur Hansson, Benedikt Hermann Hermannsson gathered around him in the studio, contributing the sound of glockenspiel, viola, double bass, vibrophone, basson, French horn, harmonium, pump organ, steel/ acoustic and electric guitar, piano, autoharp, bass, balalaikas, drums and percussion, and last but not least electronics with a Roland Juno 60 and MaxMSP. All of them shaping together the musical background in which Óbó spins his dense stories.
This is the perfect record for fans of Iceland and Icelandic music such Sigur Rós, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Ólafur Arnalds, múm, Efterklang (ok, Scandinavian music then)…
“there’s never been a moment like this one; there’s never been a place like here, never been a sound this bright”
* some more name dropping: not to forget Ólafur Björn Ólafsson performing and recording with Emiliana Torrini, Stórsveit Nix Noltes, slowblow, Benni Hemm Hemm, múm, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Úlfur Hansson and Valgeir Sigurðsson… the whole cosmos of Icelands music scene.
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