CeaseTone - 'Stranded' EP
We have so many reviews to write up this week, but if truth be told our heads have been turned away from listening to the lovely set of new music submissions we've been sent and new releases we’ve stumbled across. No, its not the new Major Parkinson album (not quite yet anyway…), but an EP release from our 2016 Album of the Year recipients CeaseTone. The Icelandic band, masterminded by Hafsteinn Þráinsson have released a short set of contemplative personal songs that are somewhat different to their ‘Two Strangers’ release, but still have a mesmerizing power and subtlety, and which we just know you’ll all love.
‘Intro’ may just be an Intro, but it utilises further the strings we saw in ‘Two Strangers’. It is nicely arranged, and whilst I’m not entirely sure how it quite fits in with the rest of the EP (other than being an Intro), it's a really listenable track in its own right. ‘Brothers’ we reviewed previously when it was released as a single, and in both this and ‘Burning Bridges’ the highlight is the flowing atmospheric guitar playing, but the lyrics too in ‘Burning Bridges are worthy of attention – ‘when running from your burden, it will find you in the dark’.
'Flood' is written in a slightly different style, with the track less dependent on the intricate guitar playing, and instead we're offered vocal harmonies and glimpses of strings, it's another soaring and emotional filled song. The title track 'Stranded' is almost conventional in its structure, with a distinct melodic chorus, which then builds in both volume and intensity before fading back away again.
Everyone we’ve recommended CeaseTone to has said positive things about their music thus far, and ‘Stranded’ doesn’t disappoint. In fact the complex songwriting capabilities of Hafsteinn Þráinsson continue to develop, and I remain slightly in awe of the musical output. I remain hopeful that at some point we’ll see a UK appearance, but in the meantime we now have such a high quality selection of music to continue to listen to. 'Stranded' by CeaseTone is beautifully written and performed, and it is undoubtedly a real treasure of 2017.