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Boomkat Product Review:
Not to be confused with neo-classical composer/producer Ólafur Arnalds, Ólöf Arnalds is an Icelandic singer and songwriter whose work has been endorsed by Björk. Við og Við was originally released in 2007, gaining much recognition in Arnalds' homeland (including Record Of The Year in Iceland's largest daily newspaper, Morgunblaðið and a Best Alternative Album gong at the 2007 Iceland Music Awards) and has subsequently been well-received Stateside. These delicate folksy compositions arrive with generally very toned-down, humble arrangements and for the most part the album is dominated by fingerpicked acoustic guitar and a voice described by Björk as being "somewhere between a child and an old
woman". On a track like 'Moldin' there are comparisons to be drawn between Arnalds and someone like Josephine Foster, whose simple accompaniment allows an idiosyncratic, strangely anachronistic vocal tone to flourish, and seldom does Arnalds crowd her voice away from the forefront of a mix: 'Orfeus Og Evridís' is simple yet incredibly beautiful, seeing her switch from guitar to koto, accompanied further by Eiríkur Orri Ólafsson's trumpet, while 'Náttsöngur' exhibits grander aspirations, gently ushering in strings and broader instrumentation. Lovely stuff - highly recommended.