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Folk - Verschenen op 31 augustus 2007 | One Little Independent Records

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Klassiek - Verschenen op 28 augustus 2020 | Sono Luminus

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Folk - Verschenen op 19 september 2014 | One Little Independent Records

The fourth long-player from the ghostly Icelandic singer/songwriter and cousin of ghostly Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds, Palme arrives just one year after 2013's bucolic Sudden Elevation, and while it retains its predecessor's magical lilt, it's an icier confection that's as pure as powdered snow, yet bubbling over with fairy mischief. At just over half-an-hour, Palme doesn't mince words; its pleasures are meticulously crafted and perfectly executed, and they succeed or fail based only on which way the listener falls in regards to Arnalds idiosyncratic voice, much like Joanna Newsom's. Musically, Palme is a melting pot of Icelandic electro-folk, worldbeat, indie rock, ambient pop and something else altogether, and it works best as a whole, blithely weaving its way from beginning to end like a pair of Hobbits returning to the Shire after a long adventure -- this is a country where people protest the building of new highways that interfere with the natural habitat of elves. That said, while tracks like the languid and lovely "Turtledove" and the like-minded title cut soar above the listener in the most pleasing and comforting way, songs like "Defining Gender" and "Patience," with their knotty arrangements and serpentine melodies, add an undercurrent of the mystical to Palme that renders even the simplest fruits deliciously unattainable. Arnalds, like her cousin, is a weaver of ephemera, and with each new collection of music, she both defines herself and furthers her own mythology, a mythology that's wholly intertwined with the lore of her Nordic homeland. © James Christopher Monger /TiVo
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Folk - Verschenen op 13 september 2010 | One Little Independent Records

On her 2010 album, at least with its first song "Vinur Minn," Ólöf Arnalds makes a great claim to be the 21st century version of Isabelle Antena: building on her previous work with easy skill, there's a cinematic lushness to Innundir Skinni right out of the gate that feels almost like a travelog, on the one hand, or a series of intimate, personal reflections on the other. If most of the rest of Innundir Skinni tends toward the calmer side, then there's still that sense of an easygoing reach that's almost breezy throughout; Arnalds sounds engaged and wide-eyed rather than playing in a nook, and on a song like "Jonathon" there's even a slight sense of how she could find her own version of a pop hit if she ever wanted to (assuming that pop was defined by David Sylvian's "Orpheus"). Her shifting between English and Icelandic lyrics further emphasizes the dual nature of Innundir Skinni. When she sings "You got mojo, you got soul" on "Crazy Car" it seems like a strange intrusion at first, then more like a way to rework the tropes of the past into a delicate, understated meditation, with guitar and a bit of piano the only backing for her and Ragnar Kjartansson's singing. "Surrender" is another English-language high point, though in ways it's more because of the arrangement than the language, as you hear her slow building self-overdub on the chorus as the harp parts and Björk's immediately obvious cameo appearance. At points like "Vinkonur," there's a superficial similarity to performers like Joanna Newsom, but Arnalds' way around delicate arrangements and higher-pitched singing has its own distinct quality, and is, perhaps, a little less florid all around. © Ned Raggett /TiVo
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Folk - Verschenen op 13 september 2010 | One Little Independent

On her 2010 album, at least with its first song "Vinur Minn," Ólöf Arnalds makes a great claim to be the 21st century version of Isabelle Antena: building on her previous work with easy skill, there's a cinematic lushness to Innundir Skinni right out of the gate that feels almost like a travelog, on the one hand, or a series of intimate, personal reflections on the other. If most of the rest of Innundir Skinni tends toward the calmer side, then there's still that sense of an easygoing reach that's almost breezy throughout; Arnalds sounds engaged and wide-eyed rather than playing in a nook, and on a song like "Jonathon" there's even a slight sense of how she could find her own version of a pop hit if she ever wanted to (assuming that pop was defined by David Sylvian's "Orpheus"). Her shifting between English and Icelandic lyrics further emphasizes the dual nature of Innundir Skinni. When she sings "You got mojo, you got soul" on "Crazy Car" it seems like a strange intrusion at first, then more like a way to rework the tropes of the past into a delicate, understated meditation, with guitar and a bit of piano the only backing for her and Ragnar Kjartansson's singing. "Surrender" is another English-language high point, though in ways it's more because of the arrangement than the language, as you hear her slow building self-overdub on the chorus as the harp parts and Björk's immediately obvious cameo appearance. At points like "Vinkonur," there's a superficial similarity to performers like Joanna Newsom, but Arnalds' way around delicate arrangements and higher-pitched singing has its own distinct quality, and is, perhaps, a little less florid all around. © Ned Raggett /TiVo
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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 14 november 2011 | One Little Independent Records

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Folk - Verschenen op 22 september 2014 | One Little Independent Records

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Folk - Verschenen op 6 september 2010 | One Little Independent Records

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Folk - Verschenen op 28 juni 2010 | One Little Independent Records

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Folk - Verschenen op 29 september 2017 | One Little Independent Records

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Folk - Verschenen op 7 maart 2011 | One Little Independent Records

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Folk - Verschenen op 2 april 2013 | One Little Independent Records

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Folk - Verschenen op 4 februari 2013 | One Little Independent Records

Icelandic singer/songwriter Ólöf Arnalds' third studio album, the dreamy, delicate, and oddly regal-sounding Sudden Elevation, is also her first outing to be delivered entirely in English, revealing an artist who, like everybody else in the world, just wants to be loved. With a voice that falls somewhere between the fairy princess croon of Joanna Newsom and the breathy intimacy of Vashti Bunyan, it can be difficult at times to separate the melodies from the vocal affectations, but like her fellow countrywoman Bjork Guðmundsdóttir, it only takes a song or two before the two begin to get along famously. Musically, Arnalds presents a vision of folk music that is almost Elizabethan, suggesting a world of romance, intrigue, and pastoral, summery castle grounds, albeit ones where Jónsi is the court jester and the court composer is Sufjan Stevens instead of Thomas Tallis. That notion is best exemplified by two of the album's strongest cuts, the intoxicating opener "German Fields" and its equally beguiling mid-set partner in crime "A Little Grim," both of which utilize the singer/songwriter's myriad quirks in extremely naturalistic ways. Sometimes, as is the case on the lovely yet slight "Bright and Still," the simplistic lyrics transcend naiveté and venture dangerously close to obtuse, but for the most part, Arnalds shows a pretty decent command of the language, which would probably explain songs like "Treat Her Kindly," "Numbers and Names," and the sparse title track, all of which suggest a steady diet of Joni Mitchell albums. © James Christopher Monger /TiVo