Where Organicity Meets Electronic Artist: Amiina, Puzzle.

Icelandic sirens Amiina, famed predominantly and almost unjustly for their inherent involvement with the ochre compositions of Jónsi's Sigur Rós brigade, writhe in an intricate simplicity in which the sounds of saws and kalimbas procreate and ought to have them ordained as the most vital of alternative orchestras, or at least the Iceland Philharmonic. Where the once-quartet conglomerated at the Reykjavík College of Music over a decade ago previously thrived on minimal melancholy for 2007's debut LP Kurr, sophomore effort Puzzle, just as with Jónsi's solo record Go feeds off of a newfound source of grandeur and borderline optimism, as tempos are hauled up by serenading strings plucked and struck with more kinetic franticness than bumbling particles in the midst of nuclear fission. Both Eyjafjallajökull and the pulsating core of the Icelandic music world seem to have let off substantial steam, and as Amiina succinctly purvey, both ought to be all the more revered for it.

For Puzzle pieces together a hymnal, ecclesiastical devastation with a layered orchestration more complex than both Icelandic and Hopelandic combined, a flourishing forest of dwindling, organic textures, frenetic rhythms and strained, impassioned strings that carry the candles that lead to the aching heart deep within. Opener Ásinn broods like a torrential hurricane that swirls around half a toolbox's worth of percussion, an empowered harmony and a tidal organ, Over and Again recalls 2004 EP AnimaminA as a warbling saw impersonates swallow mating calls, and sees vocals added to the back row of the mystical orchestra that Amiina have come to represent. Its subtle watercolour-like vocal washes give light to their additional masculine force provided by drummer Magnús Trygvason Eliassen and electronic artist Kippi Kaninus, recently acquired to breathe yet more life into this already overtly vivacious record, whilst What are we waiting for? sounds like a lullaby caught in a dangling mobile made from slabs of xylophone and unfiltered innocence. Yet Amiina are at their most affecting when vocals are removed from the sheet music from which this Puzzle emerges, as with Púsi, an elegant piece of introverted brilliance more moving than a thousand Manet visions, and the cinematic lulls of Mambó. In the Sun, in its simplistic sea shanty vein, unfortunately sails all too close to the feeble winds blown by First Aid Kit, and Thoka could be ripped straight from Patrick Wolf's Lycanthropy, having been stripped of his boyish lyrics and trip hop backing beats, yet the subdued, reedy Sicsak, reminiscent of Nine Inch Nails' most tender of moments that plink away primarily within Still, is far more delightful than its name may suggest when read in the mother tongue of this here niche in the widest of webs spun on this earth. In Puzzle, Amiina have transcribed something astonishing, for Puzzle provides music to live for, music to die to and to ascend to heaven to, gazing down nostalgically as the world continues to spin gently on its axis, intangibly distant amidst the great below.