I’m not sure what it is about Iceland but they sure know how to make music over there. Artists such as Sigur Ros, Bjork, and Mum have made some of the most original and emotionally compelling music that the world has ever heard. It’s for this reason that I wasn’t that surprised how good the recent album entitled You Sound Asleep by EinarIndra is.
At its heart this is electronic music but is covered in more emotion than most albums featuring organic instrumentation. This album is an achievement for a number of reasons but one of the most vital is the vocals. The manipulation, implementation and delivery of the vocals add an emotional blanket over the already impressive music.
The first track “Whales” actually starts off sounding like whales communicating, which get wrapped in a beat and synth that sounds like something you might hear off of a James Blake record. The vocals lay low in the mix and get manipulated in different ways during the songs. He sets up delays, detunes them and plays with reverb. It doesn't sound gimmicky but rather what the song calls for. “Places” is a straight up beautiful, melancholy track that revolves around piano, atmosphere and repetitive vocal harmonies. A little over two minutes he drops a glitch IDM type beat that only enhances the emotional output while letting you bounce your head a bit.
“The Bearded Man P.2” revolves around a 4/4 beat and auto tune vocal (think Daft Punk not Cher). The subdued beat is hip enough to dance to at a club to but also suitable for a coffee shop. I’d say it’s the most commercially accessible track on the EP. He closes with “Mountains Blue P.2 (feat. Mama Wolf),” which is a seven-minute track that slices and dices vocals samples and evolves with more instrumentation and elements as it progresses.
I can’t say there were any major flaws with You Sound Asleep. It’s a very well put together album and successfully marries electronic and experimental music with emotional undercurrents.
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