Label: One Little Indian Release date: 06/09/10 Link: http://www.myspace.com/olofarnalds Buy/Stream: Amazon/Spotify I had a bit of an odd moment today. I was driving home from work and was surrounded by people on the M1 in a tremendous rush to get somewhere. They were overtaking, accelerating, sometimes swerving at the last minute to get that extra car length ahead of the person in front. 
While I know that this queue jockeying goes on every morning and every evening, I noticed myself trailing behind in the slowest lane. I was hanging back, not playing the daily game of catch-up that comprises the motorway experience of most drivers, and I wondered why. I happened to be listening to a track called, somewhat ironically, 'Crazy Car', by one Ólöf Arnalds, at the time. Ólöf Arnalds is a singer songwriter from Reykjavik, noted within the Icelandic scene as having played with indie outfits Mum and Mugison, as well as pursuing a solo career from 2007. Immediate comparisons to Sigur Ros and Bjork are only natural perhaps, but what Arnalds majors in is something quite different to what we have seen Iceland export so far. Her sound as showcased within her ‘Crazy Car’ single, the second from her upcoming album Innundir Skinni (out in mid-September), is very much a stripped down folk style that retains something characteristically Icelandic, a dreamy, thoughtful and at times poignant sentiment. One sees shades of this in Sigur Ros’ music of course, and indeed from Bjork, but Ólöf’s offering seems all the more sensitive and laid bare by the fact that is just her, duetting with Ragnar Kjartansson for this single, with their acoustic guitars and some soft piano weaved in to the mix. When asked about the content of the song, Ólöf revealed it to be about a friend who was leaving to go to New York city (understandably the Crazy Car after which the song was named), and about whom they were concerned, presumably warning against the dangers of living in the fast lane, and giving oneself up to chasing an American dream. This very personal aspect unfolds the song all the more and makes for a touching listen. So now you understand, and you will all the better if you listen to it yourself, what transported me so far away from the furious traffic today, and what makes ‘Crazy Car’ and its b-side beautiful music to escape the world to. Photobucket