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  • Writer's pictureAndy Wors

Svavar Knútur - 'Brot (The Breaking)'

We haven’t mentioned Svavar Knútur on our website before, so we’re delighted to be able to write a few words about his new album which is called ‘Brot (The Breaking)’. The singer songwriter from Icelandics Western Fjords released his debut album back in 2009, and is respected across Europe and beyond for his thoughtful and expressive songwriting skills, and his contribution to music has resulted in many accolades including the Anna Pálína Árnadóttir memorial award for folk music excellence in Iceland.

Not for the first time this week I find myself writing about an artist who is, firstly, a storyteller. And Svavar Knútur does so in a very different way to many other singer songwriters, - he doesn’t try and batter us with tales of woe, but writes simple stories with a humility and an expressive sense of humour – maybe more in line with the likes of Neil Hannon, even if the musical style and end product is different.

The songs themselves on this album are also fairly modest in their style, and in the first instance that’s what makes them so appealing. Each track instantly makes a connection, whether its because of the beautiful fresh sounding melodies, or the humble and unpretentious lyrics. The mix of Icelandic and English language works well, and there are some real stand out tracks – ‘The Curtain’ has a beautiful tune, and the string quartet backing makes it completely exquisite. ‘Ástarsaga úr Fjöllunum’ a song ‘about those we lost’, has the most melancholy feel of all the tracks on the album, and its touchingly delivered.

This is a lovely alternative folk album which is easy to get into, and easy to like. And the thing is, if you don’t like this style of music, you’ll realise within couple of minutes that it wont quite be your ‘cup of tea’, so its worth everyone having a quick listen, you have nothing to lose. But as far as I’m concerned, Svavar Knútur has this natural ability to connect emotionally in his writing, and the appeal of this is that it feels so right.Brot (The Breaking)’ is a charming album, which has been an absolute pleasure to listen to all week.

Nordic Music Review - 8/10

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