SEABEAR: The Ghost That Carried Us Away (Morr Music)


Posted on Oct 21st 2007 10:48 pm

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Seabear: The Ghost Carried Us Away

The Ghost That Carried Us Away
Morr Music 2007
12 Tracks. 44mins22secs

The debut full-length from Icelandic group Seabear consists of understated vignettes that center upon simple three-or-four-note acoustic guitar lines, which unfold and circle in the shifting light of successive sound washes. The harmonica and violin of Gudbjorg Hlin Gudmndsdottir provides the buoyant melodies with a firmer foundation with which to wrestle and coalesce; so too does the idyllic atmosphere of lightly brushed drums, flugelhorn, and slide-guitar, all of which, at some point or other, manage to consolidate a certain degree of independence in their category, tumbling to the fore, and thus ensuring a more elastic and varied development.

That the group toys with a wistful preciousness scarcely surprises – with members from Sigur Rós and Múm entwined in their collective efforts, although this marks the groups official conception, their history is already studded with such inclinations. Sindri Már Sigfússon and friends do toy with rather than embrace this tranquility, though, always keeping it at bay while they nurse Sigfússon’s penchant for lazy yet vibrant folk songs. With this in mind, the ensuing songs are simultaneously elemental and alien, with just enough detail and craft to reward extended listening. Lost Watch is such a track, with slow, lilting violin lines strung above deep background tones that lend the piece an air of solemnity. In other places, against Sigfússon’s murmurs, there is such movement and vibrancy to the songs that it sounds as though the notes are dancing in their own joyful rhythms.


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