Wednesday, June 23, 2010

on the

Made in
, Ice-

Don't expect to find Björk on this 20-track compilation (then a-
gain, she moved away years ago). Instead, Made in Iceland 3
showcases new or lesser known acts, not counting Emiliana Tor-
rini ("Beggar's Prayer") and Sigur Rós singer Jonsi ("Boy Lilikoi").

As expected, electronic artists dominate, though most are quite
melodic. Exceptions include the alt-country sylings of Lay Low
("Aukalagio") and Snorri Helgason ("Freeze Out"). Also Ben Frost
("Hibakusja") boldly goes into industrial territory, but without a-
bandoning song structure completely, just submerging it in buzz.
If no one selection blew my mind, they're all worth a listen.

Click here for "Tunglid" (Olafur Arnalds)
and here for "Repticon" (Reykjavik!).

Brothers at Sea, This Is a Redemption Melody EP, self-released

"Uplifting, bouyant, guitar-driven melodies."
-- press note description

The title promises something with a folk or reggae feel, like Bob
Marley's "Redemption Song," but this teenage Orange County
quintet could pass for Coldplay in a blind taste test (they look to
Switchfoot for inspiration). One Coldplay is more than enough.

Electric Sunset, self-titled, K Records [9/14/10]

"An electric hum on the highway."
-- press note description

Bay Area one-man band Nic Zwart leaves the rock guitars be-
hind for atmospheric synths. So often this M.O. divides into two
types: music for dancing and music for spacing out. Zwart, who
hails from Northwest outfit Desolation Wilderness, comes closer
to the latter, but a few songs would work well on a relaxed dance
floor, where people move slower, with less urgency. Dreamy.

Click here for "Soda."

Weep, Worn Thin, Projekt

From the hyperbolic press notes, I expected the worst, but Doc
Hammer's debut, Worn Thin, isn't too bad, especially if you've
got a jones for '80s synth-pop (Hammer co-created The Venture
). And I don't mean the itchy post-punk variant, but the ra-
dio-ready kind that John Hughes used to soundtrack the teen ang-
st in Some Kind of Wonderful. Doc's voice is thin, but the amped-
up synth work splits the difference. The disc ends with passable
covers of "Right Here, Right Now" and "Shut Up and Drive."

Endnote: After Love Language, Electric Sunset marks the
second act this month to work cats into their promo imagery. If

Nic Zwart
is trying to win me over with his kitten snap, I'm hap-
py to say he's succeeded
(unfortunately, I can't find it online). For
more information about
Brothers at Sea, please click here or
here; for Electric Sunset, here; and for
Made in Iceland 3,
Jonsi (as actor Daniel Bruhl) image from

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