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benni hemm hemm - Benni Hemm Hemm
Blessed with living in the vodka-pickled tundra's of 21st Century Iceland, Benedikt H. Hermannsson has a rich cultural heritage to call upon - with the contemporary musical success of Sigur Ros, Múm and Bjork, juxtaposed against an oral tradition that stretches back centuries; meaning anyone is able to pick-up and read ancient manuscripts without the need for dialectal translation. But we digress... Opening through a rattle of percussion and thrumming acoustic guitar, the appropriately titled 'Beginning End' kicks off Benni Hemm Hemm's eponymous debut with the kind of dribble-inducing enthusiasm usually reserved for kid's birthday parties. Brimming with indie-guitar goodness, things are cranked up a gear with the introduction of parping horns, soaring strings and a batch of sugar-blasted atmospherics that brings to mind the joyous exuberance of the Arcade Fire. 'I Can Love You In A Wheelchair', meanwhile, is an ebbing folk song that matches the likes of The Tindersticks in its blunt yet heartfelt predilection - taking a difficult subject then injecting it with a solipsistic wit that is caustically effective. Elsewhere, 'Til Eru Fræ' presses the glottally rich language into action for a galloping charge through Icelandic-country, the steel guitar pock-marks of 'Fight' hint at a fog-shrouded desert, whilst 'Sweaty In The Sunshine' works up a real head of steam through percussive bursts that press the whole band into frenzied action. Brilliant stuff.