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The Power Of Small Enchantments,
This review is from: Sudden Elevation (Audio CD)
Icelandic singer/songwriter Olof Arnalds piches up here with her
first full length English Language album of songs (her 2011 EP
'Olof Sings', a five song set for voice and acoustic guitar was
as pretty as a picture) and it's a delightfully beguiling affair.
Ms Arnald's voice has a fragile but bewitching presence; high in
timbre and warm in tone, it inhabits these twelve compositions
like a benign elfin being. Her folksy sensibilities, evident in
these spare arrangements for guitar, piano and occasional string
embellishments, have an almost medieval quality at times. One can
easily imagine her performing in a glowing firelit banqueting hall
for Queen and court; a minstrel clad in furs singing for her supper.
'Sudden Elevation' is a gentle affair inhabiting, to some degree,
similar territory to that of Joanna Newsom, early Joni Mitchell
and Melanie Safka but there's more than enough individuality on show
in her sinewy melodies and quirky diction for us to warm to her for
her own singular idiosyncratic merits. This truly is enchanting stuff.
Numbers which deserve especial mention include the winsome but magical
'Return Again'; 'Treat Her Kindly', a delightfully melancholy song
wherein Mme Mitchell's influence is perhaps most evident; 'Numbers and
Names' with its quasi-Carribean rhythm and jolly harmonic decorations
and 'Onwards and Upwards', a sublimely simple but affecting invention.
A benificent album to while away the evening hours.