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Summer Echoes

Sin Fang

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Album Review

Poor Sindri Sigfússon seems to keep getting crowded out; the multi-talented Icelandic alt-popper started Seabear as a one-man band, but before he knew it, he was in the midst of a full-blown ensemble. So the guy tries to get some elbow room for his own ideas and goes solo under the name Sin Fang Bous, creating yet another one-man-band album, Clangour, in 2008. Next thing you know, he's shortening the moniker to Sin Fang and finding himself surrounded by other musicians yet again, including members of Múm and Amiina, on Summer Echoes. Does this mean that Sigfússon will eventually end up having to take a vacation from a fully fleshed-out Sin Fang for another attempt at solo work? Hard to say, but judging from the sound of Summer Echoes, his extracurricular impulses aren't completely separate from the sounds he pursues with Seabear to begin with. Like the latter band's recordings, Summer Echoes is full of hushed, wistful alt-pop; the main difference is that where Seabear goes for a more stripped-down, acoustic-tinged approach, Sin Fang is all about stirring up the dreamy qualities inherent in Sigfússon's music and swirling them into a hazy, psychedelic/shoegazer constellation of sounds. As thick as the atmosphere gets on Summer Echoes, though, melody is still a main concern in the Sin Fang camp, and there's a solid song structure at the heart of all these tracks. Ultimately, it all comes across as sort of an Icelandic equivalent to Mercury Rev, the kind of thing that works equally well underneath a warm summer sun or as the soundtrack to a wintry, windblown day when you're plotting your great escape by building sand castles in your mind. ~ J. Allen, Rovi

Summer Echoes, Sin Fang
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