16. Amiina - Puzzle (Aminamusik)

on Sunday, 26 December 2010
Another one of those bands who's sound fits in incredibly well with the snowy weather. Each note sounding like a drop of snow settling wherever it can find itself a home.

It's not quite grabbed me as much as Kurr did, arguably one of the prettiest albums ever, however it's still incredibly beautiful material. The singles stand out, particularly What Are Waiting For which features more actual vocal presence, as in actual words, than I believe I've previously ever heard. And whereas vocals on mainly instrumental bands tracks normally turns me right off, this is done so well that you could be forgiven for thinking that this was múm at their very best.

Púsl and Mambó twinkle like we've come to expect from Amiina, chiming away like your mothers music box and somehow always reminding me of "The Steadfast Tin Soldier". In the Sun is pure antonym of its own name, icy and Icelandic in sound, with occasional approving glances expected from the likes of Vashti Bunyan and Efterklang if their wasn't so many of them or if simply major record labels did not exist.

Sicsak is darker and perhaps perfects the sound that I wished and that Textile Ranch once threatened to make on a consistent basis.

Go take a walk in the snow with this as your companion, you will not be disappointed.

Puzzle (Buy from Amazon)
Spoiler : What Boomkat Said:
As most of you probably know, Icelandic orchestral poppers Amiina used to be part of Sigur Ros in another life and despite not having worked with the band for a few years now, the influence of the epic post-rockers is still often evident. That’s not to say that Amiina’s latest full-length ‘Puzzles’ sounds exactly like Sigur Ros, but there is a distinct similarity to their attempts at the cinematic, the sublime and the quiet-loud dynamic. ‘Puzzle’ is a beautiful listening experience from beginning to end, and what it lacks in originality it just about makes up for in sheer resolve. There is never a sense that the band is anything less than sincere, and when making music this unashamedly emotional, sincerity is pretty much the most important ingredient. Through the usual fog of strings and delicate percussion, these precious songs tiptoe and shimmy through your unconscious like the ghosts of Scandinavian faeries, and with all the charm of a well-worn Grimm missive, the album chatters to the wide-eyed child in all of us. Lurvely.