Olof Arnalds ‘Treat Her Kindly’ Track Review

Ólöf Arnalds is an Icelandic singer and multi-instrumentalist. She was classically educated on the violin and viola, and later taught herself to play guitar and charango. Her record label describes her music as “instantly captivating and possessed of a magical, otherworldly quality.”

Ólöf has just released a track ‘Treat Her Kindly’ – taken from her forthcoming album ‘Sudden Elevation’ ( to be released in the UK on 4th February on One Little Indian.) Produced by long-time collaborator, Skúli Sverrisson, ‘Sudden Elevation’  was largely recorded in a late autumn 2011 stint in a seaside cabin in Hvalfjörður (literally ‘Whale-fjord’) in the west of Iceland.

Perhaps because it is the first album that Ólöf has recorded from start to finish, with no protracted breaks, it possesses a stronger narrative thread than its predecessors. “I was always trying to see the record as a conceptual whole, keeping a certain order of songs in mind as we recorded,” explains Ólöf. “I drew different maps of how the record would sound and feel as one complete work, which was something I really felt like doing, given the first opportunity in my life to have a continuous recording process.”


We had an early listen, and here’s what we thought:

The song starts wistfully. A simply strummed acoustic guitar accompanies the faltering voice.  A thin layer of extra sound is built up like a pillow made of silk cocoons, and on this cushion Ólöf gently perches her voice. It sits proud like a precious mascot.

Lyrically, it seems that the singer is looking into a mirror and seeking pardon from the reflected image. ‘Treat her kindly’ she implores the face that she sees.

-© Neil_Mach January 2013 –



Ólöf has started a Pledge campaign to help fund touring and other costs, with 15 % of all pledges being donated to Unifem. Click here to support her:  http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/suddenelevation

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.