A Closer Listen tends to be positive in its reviews, so sometimes it’s difficult to tell which releases we like more than others. This page lets you know what we’re listening to and enjoying the most.
Ólafur Arnalds ~ Island Songs (Mercury Classics)
Not out in physical release until 28 October, but available in digital form and streaming, Island Songs is Arnalds’ seven-week summer project. “What did you do on your summer vacation?” one might ask. The answer: “Travelled around Iceland and collaborated with friends and family members, composing a track a week and catching the magic on video.” The result is an audio-visual treat.
Ólafur Arnalds ~ Late Night Tales (Late Night Tales)
Yes, again! The finest mood mix in quite some time, this edition of Late Night Tales combines the best of the old and the new, and includes a number of Icelandic favorites (Hjaltalin, Samaris) along with new tracks from Arnalds, himself, highlighted by a surprisingly effective orchestral version of “Say My Name.” Released at the cusp of summer, it’s destined to soundtrack many late nights, in honor of its title.
Ben Chatwin ~ Heat & Entropy (Ba Da Bing!)
Shedding his Talvihorros guise for his latest release, Ben Chatwin introduces us to the world of the Kraken. The album is moody, mysterious and engaging, a plunge into the abyss. Carpenter-esque synths and strange, beguiling melodies abound: a pleasant submersion, with enough air pockets to keep the listener alive.
Molécule ~ 60°43′ Nord (Mille Feuilles)
Continuing on the oceanic theme, we find a deluxe re-issue of last year’s modern classic, recorded on a fishing boat in the North Atlantic. Fans now have the option of purchasing a 336-page book, double splatter vinyl, a double-disc set and/or a new EP featuring remixes and outtakes (the most stunning being the pure field recordings of “Climat”). Deep-sea techno has never sounded – or looked – so good.