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solveigmatthildur unexplainedmiseries
Artist: Sólveig Matthildur
Title: Unexplained Miseries & The Acceptance Of Sorrow
Genre: Post Punk
Release Date: 22nd June 2018
Label: Artoffact Records

Album Review

Sólveig Matthildur is a strong player in the field of Icelandic music. Before she started her solo career, she was a part of KÆLAN MIKLA - a Punk band where she played drums, sang and created lyrics. Sólveig has been educated in flute, saxophone and guitar; however her album ‘Unexplained Miseries & The Acceptance Of Sorrow’ explores electronic music more than anything else. The album consists of two pieces split into three parts each plus additional song ‘Improvisation’. However, their continuous quality makes them kinda fragments of one sonic story.

The soundscape of ‘Unexplained Miseries & The Acceptance Of Sorrow’ is dark, electronic Ambient with a tint of Trance and poetic, subtle, ephemeral vocal seasoned very nicely with some Trance pulse that adds dynamisms to the whole. Thinking of the title one could expect a gloomy mood to prevail of the release, but it is not exactly so - the music is dark, melancholic and gentle, but it does not leave a listener with the feeling of depressive sadness. In fact, the components vary from nostalgia to more dynamic, lively rhythms achieved by the moderate add of synths, faster beats and cold tones.

Sólveig’s ephemeral, exceptional, dreamy vocal that at times make you think of Lynch's movies, is the bonding factor for all parts of this sonic journey. Mysterious, crystalline quality and extremely bright - it counterpoises to masses of electronic sounds very strongly, but there are moments when it seems to be hiding behind the loads of music, tones and sub tones. Perhaps it’s intentional and reflects the overall atmosphere and the message of particular fragments. Subsequent parts are like a walk through a quiet melancholy to reach some catchier, dynamic, dramatic parts - the vocals become much more powerful in the III part, it gets the anthem quality, it becomes as if a complaint, in fact it gets so strong that it sets the sounds to the background for a while. Then the sounds slow down, intermingle with the voice to reach the effect that it's hard to be neglected, it hits like blast of cold, frosty wind.

Improvisation is a combination of enchantments with rhythmical, pulsating beat that creates disquieting effect and again lets the vocal take a lead. The accompanying pulse and the addition of synths do not suppress the clear, bright vocalic manner and its subtleties. ‘Acceptance of Sorrow’ continues into the anxious mood while the vocal reminds howling, crying and whining at times, it’s full of passion. The second part becomes more dynamic, trance and even a bit aggressive achieved by use of fast passages and reverberations. The closing sets the vocal to the background again, as if pacifying, quietening, shutting it off. By this very way of closing the album it creates a nice, coherent entity with a sonic reference to the first piece of the album. The pulsating beats make you think of a heartbeat measured medically – it’s cold, rhythmical and it opposes the passionate, emotional vocal.

All in all, ‘Unexplained Miseries & The Acceptance Of Sorrow’ is a beautiful, meditative, melancholic album; a strong manifesto loaded with emotions, passion, under-skin feelings that outburst in the most unexpected moments grasping the listener’s attention and keeping in a strong, yet tender grip. Taking into consideration the title, it’s a peculiar story of taming the emotions and you can see it fully in the musical sphere - still it’s not crossing the border - cold, electronic sound bond the whole with a watchmaker’s precision and slows the vocalic heartbeat down. Magnificent, dark, soulful, emotional artwork too!


01. Unexplained miseries, pt. I
02. Unexplained miseries, pt. II
03. Unexplained miseries, pt. III
04. Improvisation, pt. I
05. Acceptance of sorrow, pt. I
06. Acceptance of sorrow, pt. II
07. Acceptance of sorrow, pt. III


Sólveig Matthildur Kristjánsdóttir


Cover Picture

solveigmatthildur unexplainedmiseries


Music: 9
Sound: 9
Total: 9 / 10

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