The 10th album by Stafrænn Hákon, “Hausi”, contains 9 tracks composed by the band members between August 2016 and March 2017.
The start of the album is attributable to 2016 when the band performed at “Vinnslan” in Tjarnarbíó and improvised 20 minutes of work based around the melodies played on the harp by Lárus Sigurðsson, one of the band’s members. After a successful improvisation, it was decided to work further with the magical harp melodies and the songs began to pile up. The band settled at Sólheimar in Grímsnes for a weekend in August and recorded some songs that laid the foundation to this album. Recording ended in March 2017.
“Hausi” is a definite change of direction for the band. The band has evolved considerably in recent years from being Ólafur Josephsson’s alter ego into a full four-piece band. Now, Stafrænn Hákon has finally formed a solid core and finds a certain balance that suits all members of the band. After the band’s last album, “Eternal Horse”, which consisted of vocal ballads, flowing pop-oriented songs and the occasional traditional, heavy tracks in between, a deeper, darker tone will be prevalent this time. The band’s distinctive sound can still be heard in this natural, instrumental form and the outcome will not disappoint. Lárus Sigurðsson’s delicate touch of the harp is the source of the album and through it the foundation of the composition is clear.
It is evident that “Hausi”’s sound is to some extent reminiscent of Stafrænn Hákon’s album” Ventill / Poki” from 2004. Here, however, the compositions are more mature and sophisticated. Árni Þór, bass player, picks up the baritone bass guitar on this album, creating a very tight, but also melodic tone. Melodic layers of cello and trombone are also heavily involved in the sound, thanks to Þórður Hermannsson and Þröstur Sigurðsson respectively. “Hausi”’s texture is seductive, but the band maintains a heavy feel that will not disappoint a true rock hound. The dynamic sound and feel is therefore the main feature of this band’s 10th album.
As before, Lárus Sigurdsson plays the harp and piano, Árni Þór Árnason takes care of bass and baritone guitars, Ólafur Josephsson handles guitar, programming and keyboards and Róbert Már Runólfsson strikes the drums. Þórður Hermannsson then decorates “Hausi” with his cello and Þröstur Sigurðsson blasts the trombone like a true soldier.
The band members are:
Árni Þór Árnason: Baritone Guitar, Bass Guitar
Lárus Sigurdsson: Harp, Piano
Ólafur Josephsson: Guitar, Keyboard
Róbert Runólfsson: Drums
Thórdur Hermannsson: Cello
Þröstur Sigurðsson: Trombone
Artwork and envelope design: Árni Þór Árnason
Mixing: Ólafur Josephsson
Mastering: Arnar Helgi Aðalsteinsson
The album was recorded between August 201 6and March 2017, partly at Sólheimar in Grímsnes, a garage in Reykjavík and homes of band members.