Stafrœnn Hakon is the band of Ólafur Josephsson. New album Hausi sprung forth out of some improvised harp melodies played by Lárus Sigur∂sson, with the band constructing intricate post-rocky song structures around those starting points. Hausi sounds very Icelandic. Released by Vogor Recordings.
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See what happens when I get excited? So there I was, for both of my first two reviews of the day; waffling and going way over my word-count allocation. Music knows no boundaries, nor should it regard such petty concerns with anything other than a sneer of disdain… Well, that’s what this serious Icelandic lot would probably say -- It’s Stafraenn Hakon with their latest LP (I don’t know how many they’ve made to date, but it’s a lot. A whole lot of elegiac instrumental tunes. And here’s more, on Hausi.
That album title, anyway it means ‘Skull’ if translated from Icelandic -- or, if selecting Estonian -- ‘Holes’. Perhaps the band wish to poke new holes in our skulls with this record? Post-rock *can* have malicious intent, and herein's our proof. Walls of guitars, waves of electronics, fanfares of (harmonious) brass and washes of harp (seriously) conspire to create hot blasts of sound between the fluffier beds created by warm cello, whatever horn that is snaking in now, and moments when the drummer returns to soft-rock / Mogwai ballad mode. Between pummellings.
I do love a nice cello, though, and here’s one, with a harp, on ‘Djákni’. On ‘Strimill’, there’s that trombone again. Slidey. A moment of lushness and respite between spiralling guitars and drums. I need to take a breath again. I might be some time. Oh, and there's a track called 'Pollur'. It is very lovely indeed.
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- Hausi by Stafraenn Hakon
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