I have been following Ólafur Arnalds project all week, it has been a touching, intensely human experience with a rare intimacy. Each day he has created a new song, recorded a download mp3 and and accompanying video and made them immediately available under the banner, Living Room Songs.
Recorded, perhaps not surprisingly, in his living room in Reykjavík, he is joined by a varying number of friends, largely but not exclusively on strings, and together they have produced some remarkable music. Across them all is this strain of sadness and melancholy, perfectly in tune with the time of year, music that is almost the definition of autumn.
As if the music itself wasn’t enough, the accompanying videos of the recording are an unexpected joy and add to the sense of intimacy. Rather beautifully captured, apparently by Gussi of the Sleepless in Reykjavík project, they add something further to the music. For instance, the slow reveal on Lag fyrir Ommu (for Oli’s grandmother I think) is so nicely done and , alongside the music, contributes to the opening up of the song to include the 14 piece string ensemble. It would have been easy to have some rather cheesy videos but they are wonderfully in keeping with the spirit of the whole project.
Whilst the songs can all be downloaded right now, they will be released in various formats towards the end of the year and can be pre-ordered at Erased Tapes.
It is worth mentionning what a great roster Erased Tapes has – not only Ólafur Arnalds, but Nils Frahm (more about him shortly), Peter Broderick, A Winged Victory and a number of others – its rare to find a label with such outstanding artists, a label that seems to care greatly about its artists and the coherent musical offering they represent.