We’ve written before about the apparent effortless ability of Nordic artists to be able to combine different types of music to produce something fresh sounding and unique. So when we read that Teitur Magnússon, guitarist and singer from Icelandic psychedelic reggae outfit Ojba Rasta was releasing a solo album with Oriental influences, we hardly batted an eyelid. And Teitur Magnússon has produced an album that’s so easy to listen to and likeable that by the end I forgot that this was such a diversely influenced ‘indie pop’ album, because its just full of natural ideas, sweet melodies and clever musical instrumentation.
The album, entitled ’27’ opens with ‘Nenni’ and a Sitar, before launching into an easy going perhaps Caribbean influenced song with flute and guitar accompaniment, and it’s a delight, well written and an instantly favourite track. ‘Munaðarhóf’ is a simpler pop song, with flute, guitar and Japanese sounding instruments in the background, and the arrangements are clever and seem to fit naturally to the vocals.
‘Staðlaust hjarta ift’ and ‘Kamelgult ift’ are quite likeable, but perhaps don’t have the same intriguing mix of musical styles, but ‘Vinur vina minna ift’ is different again, quirky and catchy, with a darting playful flute skipping joyfully behind it. The conclusion of the album, ‘Allt líf ift’ starts with a quiet stately Pachelbels Canon type theme, but slowly develops and grows with added vocals and instruments, and it’s a powerful end to the album.
I guess my biggest regret is that as an UK based English speaking review blog, we don’t have the knowledge to understand the lyrics, which is our loss, but reading up about ‘Nenni’ shows that these are carefully thought through and clever ideas here too.
This is a psychedelic pop album with simple and catchy songs at its heart, and Teitur Magnússon with his fellow musicians have layered on top musical ideas that add a texture and richness that most similar albums don’t have. Its enjoyable, laid back, easy on the ear and definitely recommended.
Nordic Music Review 7.5/10