Jane Telephonda - 'Boson of Love'
Before our final break of the year we covered an interesting selection of tracks, my favourite being 'Green Hang Ten' by the brilliantly named 'Gentle Ivanhoe Death Skulls'. And in terms of band names, 'Jane Telephonda' from Iceland rank pretty highly too, original and definitely easy to find on Spotify and Google, with their debut album 'Boson of Love' is well worth checking out.
'Jane Telephonda' are an interesting collective of 9 musicians, fronted by husband / wife duo Ívar Páll Jónsson and Asdis Rosa, and their music is a melodic 60's influenced psychedelic musical voyage with some simple enough but thoughtfully expressed themes and lyrics. For those of you who, like us, like to explore the beauties of the more diverse elements of Icelandic music then try Ívar Jónsson's concept album 'Revolution in the Elbow of Ragnar Agnarsson Furniture Painter', it is pretty extraordinary in both its title and its content (and fairly easy to track down on streaming services).
The album opens with the title track 'Boson of Love', and it is undoubtedly a real highlight, with a lilting tune, laid back accompanying instruments, and lyrics which set out a central premise of the album - that mankind's quest for the meaning of life always ends in the search for love. 'The White of the Wind' utilises Asdis Rosa expressive vocals, whilst I particularly like 'Into The Light We Go', which builds with a real emotional intensity thanks to the backing chorus harmonies.
Other highlights of the album include 'Transmuted Saltness', another track built around likeable and classic tunes, this time with string accompaniment, whilst 'Leather Unicorn' appears to deal with the issue of leather clad unicorns being held in captivity in a circus. The album then ends with 2 real highlights, 'Summer Rain' has a beautifully simple melody accompanied by acoustic guitar, and builds with clever use of the swirling accompanying instruments, whilst final track 'Stjörnuduft' is the only track sung in Icelandic, and it's another carefully crafted melody, with enticing string arrangements to back it up.
'Boson of Love' is an album which charmed me as soon as I heard it, and whilst it's true that not all the songs have appealed to me as much as the title track, I like the wistful style of the music, the melodies and the natural musicianship which is apparent throughout. I really hope this doesn't turn out to be a 'hidden gem', because I really think this is an album which could have widespread appeal, and we're delighted to be able find room for it before we close the door on 2017 and find ourselves compiling our favourite albums of the year.