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Sudden Elevation

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iTunes Review

On her first English-language project (and third album overall), Olof Arnalds combines maidenly vocal purity with a finely wrought melodic sense that makes her idiosyncrasies easy to enjoy. The Icelandic singer/songwriter crafts exquisite musical miniatures that hint of mystical reveries beyond their guileless lyricism. Sudden Elevation keeps a tight spotlight on Arnalds’ crystalline warble, mostly accompanied by acoustic guitar with occasional electric filigree and subtle string parts. Tunes like “Treat Her Kindly” and the title number invite comparisons to early Joni Mitchell; “Bright & Still” has the old-fashioned tunefulness of vintage Paul McCartney. With music that's undeniably twee at times, Arnalds transcends her childlike qualities with empathy and quiet wisdom. She moves between the medieval exaltation of “Return Again,” the church-pageant whimsy of “All a Little Grim,” and the tropical lilt of “Numbers and Names” with an enraptured air, punctuated by a wry smile now and then. “Call It What You Want” adds a touch of spacy folk psychedelia. Arnalds comes across as dreamy, yet not remote; she revels in her quirks without surrendering to them.

Customer Reviews

Love this!

Icelandic folk, quirky (think Joanna Newsom) voice that really grows on you. First album all in English, hope she reaches a wider audience in the US. One of those unique artists you treasure when you find. If you like contemporary folk, Icelandic alt music, and/or female singers with unusual voices, you'll love this.


Born: January 4, 1980 in Iceland

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Multi-instrumentalist Ólöf Arnalds has established herself as a vital member of the Icelandic musical community, but it wasn't until 2007 that she stepped forward to pursue a solo career with her album Vid Og Vid. Born in 1980, Arnalds began playing music at a young age and is fluent on violin, viola, cello, guitar, and a number of other stringed instruments. Arnalds became interested in international folk music early in her career, through she's performed with a wide variety of artists; she's a...
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Sudden Elevation, Ólöf Arnalds
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