It’s far too easy to be cynical these days, so why don’t you allow yourself to have your heart melted by the awe-inspiring new album from Pascal Pinon?
The product of sisters Jófríõur and Ásthildur Ákadóttir being separated for the first times in their lives, Sundur – which lends its title from the Icelandic proverb sundur og saman, meaning apart and together – is a gorgeous, lo-fi, intimate record, often stripped down to just piano and vocals.
But this isn’t some tiresome, po-faced, doe-eyed lament. The record is peppered with inventive production, virtuous musicianship, and bewitching vocals. It is an achievement made all the more remarkable given the bulk was recorded over only two days.
Opener ‘Josa Lotta’ is the perfect introduction to the album – the sisters’ third to be released. Pascal Pinon may not make music which you can blast out to the masses, but that would be missing the point entirely. They excel in music you want to keep all to yourself – music in which you can immerse yourself and confide in.
Elsewhere, ’53’ is a charming, finger-picked acoustic lilt, while ‘Forest’ contains a quasi-hip-hop intro. Sundur is as diverse as it is delicate.
Lead single ‘Orange’ is a real highlight, but it is its placing after ‘Spider Light’ which is a real masterstroke – creating the centrepiece of the record. The latter is a hypnotic, atmospheric instrumental, which only helps elevate the alluring melodies and wordplay of the somewhat sinister single.
Be as cynical as you like, Sundur is a sublime album.
Sundur, the new album from Pascal Pinon, is released 26 August via Morr Music.