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Album Review

Starting with the understated strum and singing that opens the title track, building into a string and piano-led arrangement that feels like a gentle triumph over darkness, Retaliate finds Benni Hemm Hemm creating one of their most hushed and intimate efforts to date, a five-song distillation of their calm aesthetic. Bandleader Benedikt H. Hermannsson's overlaid vocals on "Church Loft," skewing in and out of sync with himself as a softly skeletal performance on guitar and piano transforms into a fuller but still slow arrangement, is a standout, while the concluding "Blood on Lady Lawson" wraps up the release on a calmly dramatic note.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Benni Hemm Hemm, the Icelandic indie pop band fronted by Benedikt H. Hermannsson, first began to take root when Hermannsson, after a limited release of his solo SummerPlate EP in 2003, moved to Italy for a few months and began to write a new batch of songs. With a full band, including trumpet, bass, and flügelhorn, Benni Hemm Hemm issued their self-titled full-length debut on Iceland's Smákökurnar Records in September 2005, with reissues in Japan, Europe, and North America coming the following year...
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Retaliate, Benni Hemm Hemm
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