Olafur Arnalds

For Now I Am Winter

By Vincent PollardMulti-instrumentalist and contemporary classical composer Ólafur Arnalds, known for his solo work, Hollywood soundtracks and collaborations with Nils Frahm, brings us his latest release, the aptly titled For Now I Am Winter. His third full-length to date, it features orchestral arrangements from NYC-based composer Nico Muhly, as well as some judicious use of laptop electronics. Several numbers, including the heavily melancholic title track, which comes across like Sigur Rós meets Antony and the Johnsons, feature the vocal talents of fellow Icelandic native Arnór Dan. Dominated by sharply tuned piano and sweeping strings, a cinematic melancholy dominates the album, clearly drawing from Arnalds' recent experience as a composer of soundtracks, as well as his electronic experiments as one half of Kiasmos. For Now I Am Winter is a record of intimate beauty and Arnór Dan's R&B-inspired vocals, which bear at least a passing resemblance to Ango or How To Dress Well, work surprisingly well in these sparse yet complex and layered compositions.
(Mercury)
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