Sundur Pascal Pinon cover
  1. Jósa & Lotta
  2. 53
  3. Forest
  4. Skammdegi
  5. Fuglar
  6. Spider Light
  7. Orange
  8. Twax
  9. Babies
  10. Ást
  11. Weeks

Twin Peaks, not yet

Twin sisters duo Pascal Pinon, named after the freak Pasqual Pinon, the two-headed Mexican, made 2 full albums before. Ásthildur and Jófríður released their eponymous debut in 2009 and 4 years later “Twosomeness” (Morr Music, 2013). Two albums filled with some simple, pop-folk songs in Icelandic and English.

Pascal Pinon’s third full-length “Sundur” (Morr Music, 2016) is yet another album with lo-fi, folky, minimalistic music. The title refers to the Icelandic proverb “sundur og saman” (meaning ‘apart and together’). The sisterhood was separated for a while: Ásthildur went to Amsterdam to study classical piano & composition and went back to Iceland, but her sister Jófríður went to tour the world with Samaris, and still leads a nomadic lifestyle. “Sundur” was recorded in just 2 days. This time, the twin’s father, composer Áki Ásgeirsson, helped out with the engineering and contributed percussions played with scrap metal he brought with him, including discarded parts of airplanes.

The family t(h)ree members recorded 11 piano driven, quite raw songs. Opener “Jósa & Lotta”, Song n° 2, “53”, and track IV, “Skammdegi”(Midwinter) have the same pattern and texture. The third track, “Forest”, has a great intro, Björk’s “Come to me” comes to my mind. “Fuglar” (Birds) has the scary suspense touch of a Hitchcock movie. “Spider Light” is a splendid intermezzo. Is “Orange” a tribute to The Netherlands? I guess not. “Twax” is a track that goes girly-girly like amiina. Track IX, “Babies”, has the glory of a chapel: not a Vegas one, but one under the glacier. All you need is “Ást” (Love). “Weeks” is a cuddly final song.

“Sundur” is an album to play when you are dressed in underwear, so early in the morning or late in the evening. It is a record for people who like the ‘MTV Unplugged’ Björk, the early amiina and Ólafur & Ólöf Arnalds. Jófríður’s voice is now and then too broken, too fragile for my taste, although some will like the Björk-iness of her vocal cords. It’s indicative that my favourite track is “Spider Light”. The contributions of father Áki are very welcome, but too sparse. I think some songs need a RMX ‘à la Samaris’, because they need a beehive, a bob haircut or a mohawk instead of a bald head. But one day, the twin will peak.

– Wim Van Hooste