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We Are Shadows

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Customer Reviews

Simply the best album of 2009. Maybe this decade.

Music, at its heart, is an escape, an art form capable of transporting the listener to any desired place through sound alone. Sure, cultural relevance is all well and good, the socio-political commentary that fuels hip hop or the aggressive protestations at punk rock’s core undeniably serve their purpose and no doubt, music is a multifaceted medium. But honestly, how often do we want to be reminded of life’s grim realities, especially amid the doom and gloom of these current recession-wracked times. With the release of their third album, Leaves understand this better than anyone. The Icelandic quartet, comprising of Arnar Gu?jónsson (vocals, piano, guitar), Hallur Hallsson (bass), Nói Steinn Einarsson (drums) and Andri Asgrimsson (keyboards) were dealt a serious blow back in 2005, having been dropped by Island Records soon after the release of second long-player The Angela Test. With no desire of being remembered as major-label also-rans, the band took the DIY approach to making music, setting up their own studio and undertaking production duties. Needless to say, the decision was a wise one, the absence of label interference has allowed them to hone their skill and blossom as a band, masterminding an album that eclipses not just their more-than-formidable back catalogue but practically any other release this century. It’s worth nothing that, despite hailing from Reykjavik, Leaves hold an unusual British influence that has seen them garner eye-rolling comparisons to Coldplay since their origin. While there is no denying the resemblance Gu?jónsson possesses to Martin’s distinctive warble, their musical aesthetic owes far more to the cinematic, genre-hopping soundscapes of Manc melancholists Doves. And much like that band’s seminal breakthrough album The Last Broadcast, what Leaves have conceived with their third effort is a masterclass in escapism. Finding resonance and emotion in the elemental - each track is its own separate environment, its own force and aura. And for 56 minutes of nigh-on aural perfection, We Are Shadows is fearless in its pursuit of the grandest sound.

Buy Me Now!

What a great album...

Onwards and upwards

Another great collection of songs played with skill and passion.


Formed: 2001 in Reykjavik, Iceland

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Arnar Gudjonsson (vocals/guitar), Hallur Hallsson (bass), and Arnar Olaffson comprise the Icelandic indie rock group Leaves. Taking their name from the Nick Drake album Five Leaves Left, Leaves originated in Iceland's capital city during summer 2001. Gudjonsson had been holed up in a red house writing songs, and once Hallsson joined him, Leaves came to life. By October, the trio had several songs under their belts and played their first live show, an 800-crowd gig at a local art gallery. Looking...
Full bio
We Are Shadows, Leaves
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Customer Ratings