With a slightly changed name and a pack
of Icelandic all-stars, Sindri Már Sigfússon returns to the hinterlands of
wistful melodic pop. His Sin Fang project is now on its second outing,
following the 2009 debut Clangour (under the Sin Fang Bous moniker), and
follows, by a year, the Seabear breakout We
Built a Fire, one of 2010’s best, least-heralded albums.
As with other Nordic acts – Mum comes to
mind as well as Loney Dear – it is sometimes hard to tell if a song is happy or
sad. “Because of the Blood,” the single, starts in melancholy mystery, wafts of
disembodied vocals brushing against murmuring synths. Yet as it goes along, a
bright keyboard lofts the tune skyward and a breathless rhythmic push gives it
a jittery, anticipatory lift. Similarly “Always Everything” billows with breezy
tunefulness, languid lead vocals punctured by joyful shouts (“Oh! Ah! Oh! Ah!).
There’s a sweet-sour quality to these
lovely songs that makes them all the more touching. Up or down today, they seem
to say, tomorrow will likely be different.
DOWNLOAD: “Always Everything,” “Because
of the Blood” JENNIFER KELLY