Ourlives 'Den of Lions'
Reykjavik band Ourlives are going global with their worldwide release of Den of Lions, a soaring creation that paints musical landscapes in an apparent effortless journey from start to finish. Formed by Jón Björn Árnason and Leifur Kristinsson in 2005, their recent release came about after their US record label Spartan Records spotted them on a trip in Iceland. Whilst this label might compare them to post-Brit pop tradition of bands like Coldplay, Radiohead and Travis, they arguably compare more with early Thirteen Senses and even the Delays, and to me their output is fairly compelling listening.
This is undoubtedly an album band, and ‘Den of Lions’ has a complexity and richness that doesn’t provide instant satisfaction – there are no stand out singles. A simple, often melancholic feel with mainly Guitar, Keyboards, Cello and Drums, its not going to leap out and bite you, but draw you in and immerse you in its portraits of a complex, paranoid and emotional world. Ourlives are at the best when they just let it go - ‘Anything can Happen Now’ and ‘Where is the Way’ both rise to a level above the rest of the album.
Den of Lives is an album which needs patience, and fits into a genre which may not be appealing to all. They do undoubtedly have a sound which can translate to US and European audiences, and they may have a bigger bolder sound waiting to break through. I hope so, theyre the type of band whos music will certainly evolve over time, and I look forward to their next offering. In the meantime ‘Den of Lives’ has so much to it that we can be kept waiting.
Nordic Music Review 7.5/10