After the GB-ICE-cold cod wars, the terroristic attack of Gordon Brown, it is about time to smoke the pipe of peace while listening to the “Bricelandish” band Leaves. The band was formed in 2001 by Arnar Guðjónsson and Hallur Már Hallsson. The name of the band refers to “Five Leaves Left”, the debut album of English legend Nick Drake. Are you experienced? Yes, they are after touring with Athlete, The Bluetones, Doves, The Coral and Electric Soft Parade. The 4th writ of the group with newcomers Elís Pétursson (Jeff Who?, Ghostigital) on bass and keyboard player Kjartan F. Ólafsson (Ampop, Kjarr), is “See you in the afterglow”. It is the successor of “Breathe” (2002), “The Angela Test” (2005) and “We Are Shadows” (2009).
The first single, “Sensualist”, has an outstanding intro and some gloomy guitars. In “Parade” the for once well-behaving Oasis Bros. are having high tea with late John Lennon. “Perfect weather” sounds like a tune the Verve forgot to record. We’re “Animals” features anything but wild creatures: the domestic beasts are chilling in the children’s zoo at Laugardalur. In “Lovesick” Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker falls in love with Madness at the end. “Wilderness song” is a superb soundtrack for a camp-fire annex barbecue, laid back with a pousse-café. “White noise” is the rockiest track on the record, no black metal neither white trash, just good old school rock ’n roll. “Wake me up” before you go-go is the happy-go-lucky song. Strange intro and outro, crunchy crackles and drawling guitars typify the track “Sleepy waters”. The second single “Ocean” is obviously inspired by Keane. “Afterglow” is the sunset of the record, letting the sun down while painting the sky red-hot.
“See you in the afterglow” is the best Britpop album made in Iceland since 2009. Definitely not the most original record of 2013, but a coherent album for those who prefer tea above coffee, a sandwich above a hotdog, Noel above Liam, and the Beatles above the Stones.
– Wim Van Hooste –