Benni Hemm Hemm Retaliate

Benni Hemm Hemm Retaliate
Icelandic artist Benni Hemm Hemm (Benedikt H. Hermannsson) recently made the move to Scotland, and while it hasn't led to any significant changes in his music, he's managed to fit nicely into the folk scene there, working with the likes of Alasdair Roberts. That isn't a huge surprise, as his sleepy, stripped down tunes cast him as a kindred spirit of Appendix Out and their ilk, and that remains the case on newest EP Retaliate. If anything, these five songs are even more stripped down than ever because Hermannsson recorded them at home. It's also the first time he's sung entirely in English, making it possible to hear the recurring theme of blood that runs through every track. Ultimately, it's about the atmosphere he conjures and that's where the EP succeeds. The quiet strum of an acoustic guitar and gentle piano dominate, for the most part, making the moments when the songs build to a crescendo even more dramatic and effective. This is perfect rainy Sunday afternoon music, and just plain lovely. (Kimi)