There must be
something in the frozen isolation of Iceland’s northern environs that stamps
such a cool melancholia into its homegrown music. Sigur Ros, Bjork – all seem
to shift parameters with a reliability that’s unexpectedly compelling. Seabear follows suit, but its ethereal
trappings lull their listeners in ways that are truly beguiling.
Borne with hushed
vocals, subdued contemplation and the occasional trumpet or violin, We Built A Fire boasts a shimmering,
celestial feel – mellow enough to ensure seduction but with a sound that’s just
as likely to go askew. Consequently,
songs like “Fire Dies Down,” “Cold Summer” and “Warm Blood” create inner conflict,
gentle in spirit but more kinetic in execution.
That unlikely dichotomy takes these folk-like ruminations to another
level where simple shoegazing is no longer an option. While the tone and temperament is generally
subdued, “Softship” and “I’ll Build You A Fire” soar above a tangled undertow
while “Wooden Teeth” almost seems perky by comparison. Subtle but assured, it’s already destined for
consideration as one of the most intriguing albums of the year.
Standout Tracks: “Lion Face Boy,” “I’ll Build You a Fire,”
“Cold Summer” LEE ZIMMERMAN