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Ólafur Arnalds
...and they have escaped the weight of darkness - Erased Tapes
FILTER Grade: 86%

By Kyle Lemmon on August 24, 2010


Ólafur Arnalds

Ólafur Arnalds’ luminous second long-player, …and they have escaped the weight of darkness, follows the 23-year-old chamber composer and former Sigur Rós support-act’s Found Songs online series. Though that viral release was extremely popular (racking up over 200,000 downloads) it never quite escaped the shadow of the neo-classical artist’s former releases; namely his debut, Eulogy for Evolution. Arnalds’ new piano variations are faint, plaintive, and unfurl their radiance like pallid moonlight over a halcyon lagoon. They’re understandably influenced by a Hungarian film’s symbolic depiction of a solar eclipse. Opening cut “Þú Ert Sólin,” (“you are the sun”) breaks your heart like a Max Richter piece and the sloshing percussion on “Gleypa Okkur” dresses the wound with a tender palliative. Co-producer Barði Jóhannsson, of experimental pop/electronica band Bang Gang, gives the record a more hopeful pallor. Keep an eye on Arnalds. He will only increase in importance.

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