Ólöf Arnalds releases a new mini-album (released 7th November) on One Little Indian Records. Her mini-album is a collection of cover versions, “Ólöf Sings”, many of which will be familiar to fans from her live shows. We had a listen:
‘Close My Eyes’ – is an expressively mild woven patchwork of emblems that are slightly soiled by guilt and lightly stained by protesting sentiments. Cushioned by a richly textured and opulently plummy voice.
‘With Tomorrow/ I’m On Fire’ – A dragons breath of guitar and glacial spikes of dynamism radiate energy from this painfully personal song, sung in a mournful whispering confidentially presumptive style – yet as lightly drawn as a drifting veil.
‘Solitary Man’ – Tension is immediately created by sulky chords and melancholy notes from the smokier-than-expected voice of Ólöf – but, ofcourse, the proponent in this song is a ‘Solitary Man’ (Neil Diamond or maybe Johnny Cash) so that the gaiety and sensitivity of Ólöf’s normal approach, and our expectation of feminine nuances, give way to an unshaven and an altogether rattier approach.
‘She Belongs To Me’- this Dylan song contains bucket-loads of dripping courage collected as burning coals of sound- yet kept smouldering in the furnace just long enough to allow you to recharge your reservoirs of fortitude when you need to.
‘Maria Bethania’ – This jazzy confection gently feathers your mood, sending tendrils of love way into your heart. Maria Bethania is a singer and sister of Brazilian composer and folk singer Caetano Veloso (the author of this song) and this song is his devotion to a beloved sister and plays just like a handwritten note created on the move. But it is handsomely performed by Ólöf, as an elegant epistle to shared memory, faulty affections and lost hearts. — © Neil_Mach October 2011 —
1. Close My Eyes 3:23
2. With Tomorrow/ I’m On Fire 4:18
3. Solitary Man 3:19
4. She Belongs To Me 2:15
5. Maria Bethania 3:52