On the Horizon: Enchanting Sumptuousness from Reykjavik's Ólöf Arnalds

If you've wound up on Dots & Dashes, I'd hazard a guess that you're fairly familiar with the work of Jónsi's Sigur Rós, the emblematic torch-bearers of the dwindling euphoric depression for which Iceland has now garnered something of an infamous eminence. Reykjavik's Ólöf Arnalds, part-time violinist of compatriots and fellow troubadours Múm as well as collaborator with Sigur Rós' unsung orchestral mastermind Kjartan Sveinsson, deals in delicately bewitching acoustic meanderings delivered in a beautifully unintelligible Icelandic coo, a bit like Liv Tyler murmuring fabricated nursery rhymes besides cots dressed up as Arwen Evenstar all over again. A few years ago Arnalds released her debut LP, Við Og Við, intricately sewing together the irrepressibly vulnerable voice of Joanna Newsom with the minimalist delights of Amiina. Following on from shows at last week's SXSW, she's currently straightening out her follow-up record, the somewhat more pronounceable Ókídóki before revealing it rather shortly. Whilst superficially she may not sound all that disparate from the many shy recluses peddling frequencies from the tamer end of the musical spectrum in the darkest corners of decadent wooden-beamed pubs up and down the country, it's her otherworldly voice, caught halfway between the stage and the stars that transforms Við Og Við into such a piercingly affectionate listen. Ókídóki can't be commercially conceived soon enough.
   Ólöf Arnalds - Við og Við  by  uncensored