Icelandic folkie does mildly quirky on her fourth LP
Like Joanna Newsom’s early work, Icelandic folkie Ólöf Arnalds’ output has so far comprised little more than delicate acoustic picking and high-pitched vocals. But on fourth album ‘Palme’, the 34-year-old – plus collaborators Gunnar Örn Tynes (founder of glitchy experimental collective Múm) and long-term writing partner Skúli Sverrisson – tests the boundaries of her sound by moving away from stripped-back simplicity and adding new elements. There are sprinkled electronics on the bubbly ‘Hypnose’ and sci-fi oddity ‘Half Steady’, and a sweeping string section helps lift tender highpoint ‘Defining Gender’. Too few tracks leave as forceful an impression however, and for all its added bells and whistles, ‘Palme’ comes off more mildly quirky than exhilarating.
Record label: One Little Indian
Release date: 29 Sep, 2014