After a seven year absence Hjaltalín return with what can only be described as a work of almighty proportions.
Buy on 2xLP or CD.
One of Iceland's most magnificent bands, an absolutely incredible group.
The highly rated Icelandic group return in grand style.
Hjaltalín retain their engagingly wonky charm.
Crafted and contemplative.
An album to savour.
Hjaltalín have released 4 studio albums, a live album with the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra and an original soundtrack for the no-dialogue feature film Days of Gray. The band's full catalog can be found at hjaltalin.bandcamp.com.
When you boil it down, Hjaltalín is essentially a group of talented friends. They were high-school students when they started playing together. Today they are professional composers, producers, songwriters, performers, players (and a pilot!) who have made the band their labour of love for nearly fifteen years.
They drew attention very early on with their catchy multi-part chamber-pop compositions and became a huge crossover success locally with the 2007 release of their debut album Sleepdrunk Seasons.
Still, Hjaltalín’s second album Terminal (2009) proved a much bigger hit, winning ‘album of the year’ at the Icelandic Music Awards, selling over 10,000 copies domestically, and its five singles spending a combined 44 weeks on the National Radio’s Top 20.
Over the next couple of years, while the band struggled to deal with the newly diagnosed bipolar disorder of frontman Högni Egilsson, the group recorded Enter 4 (2012) – a tense exploration on art, madness and friendship. It is a sparer and darker album and marks the height of Hjaltalín's critical acclaim.
The songs on Hjaltalín's fourth album have gone through so many versions, arrangements and mixes that they can be likened to small sculptures, slowly molded over the years. Each and everyone is a small world unto itself, rich with detail, but they come together nicely like statues in a garden. The best of the batch sound like they've been around for ages; they are weathered – classic.