Volcano Victims (Iceland) - ‘Volcano Victims’ (album)
Back to album releases, and I have a fair few to cover off. I’ve written about Icelandic songwriter Gaui before, his Volcano Victims project is now based in Berlin, and I particularly liked their single ‘Canicular Years’, with an accompanying video filmed at a running track – just to add to my lockdown jealousy.
Anyway at the time I mentioned that an album was on the way, and it was released a couple of weeks back, self titled and featuring 10 tracks that fit cosily into the lo-fi indie pop category, with a healthy dose of 60s melodic influences, particularly evident in ‘Canicular Years’, which opens the album.
Now it’s true that still remains my favourite track, but there’s still plenty to enjoy in the rest of the release. ‘Things Turn Out Alright’, a cute laid back track which nicely tells us that things are going to be okay in the end: “the roots are mighty strong, the way you like your coffee” sings vocalist Hanna accompanied by Gaui, although apparently theyre not able to confirm whether I’ll be able to go on my summer holiday or not – or see Pom Poko in Manchester in the Autumn.
‘Beginning of the 80’s’ is written in a similar enjoyable style, but ‘Oxford Street’ turns things upside down somewhat, a downright sad songs where the words are pretty clear - “so go with her, have a child or two… or three”, it’s certainly effective in bringing some misery to the release.
‘Shimmering Light’ though has a dreamy feel, I like the vocals in particular, and apparently it was originally a folk track which they added drums too - I’d like to hear the original. And whilst ‘Post Storm’ doesn’t really resonate, ‘Fool’ has an indie guitar band feel to it, albeit with slightly leftfield dark alternative pop vocals and drumming, it’ll take a while to get your head around, but actually it works pretty well.
Okay, so I like this, even if it is somewhat of a curious mix at times, probably reflecting the fact that this is a compilation of tracks written over many years. There’s some lovely stories behind the tracks too, and more guest contributions than ‘It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World’ – albeit not of the celebrity variety, just a collection of musicians and songwriters that Gaui has worked with over the years – it all helps make this a warm, personal album that ice really enjoyed,