Now Playing: The Shocking Southern Soul of Iceland's Kaleo
  • TUESDAY, APRIL 12, 2016

  • Posted by: David Pitz





Kaleo hail from Iceland, but they don't really sound like it...at least not in this brand new session captured at Atlantic Records. There are no terrestrial soundscapes (a la Sigur Ros) lurking in their sound. These are not the head catching melodies or Nordic sing-along anthems (think Of Monsters and Men) we are used to. Instead, dig into the session's second cut, "Broken Bones". Hear that? There is mood and character for miles, but it's of the voodoo variety, gleamed from the roots of the American South. There are work chant vocals and a super saucy guitar sweating through the mix. We probably should have added a little phonographic sizzle to the mix, just so we could reference Alan Lomax. Actually, see that little trick we just did right there? We snuck it in there anyway. It's a wonderful song...cinematic and totally unexpected from this Scandinavian quartet.

As it turns out, there's a reason for the sound. Kaleo have had an eye on leaving their homeland behind for a long time. Last year they penned the single "All The Pretty Girls" (which they kick off this session with) that allowed them to do just that. Its' simple earnestness, delicate falsetto, and folk purity (ok, time to reference Bon Iver) became a global phenomenon, so the boys traded the frosty vibes of their island home for some serious sonic heat and humidity in Austin TX. Since making the jump to an actual continent (not an island being slowly ripped apart by 2 continental plates!), the band have enjoyed all the bounties of this country, traveling through 40 states and quite obviously absorbing every moment. Now make like Kaleo and absorb every bit of this spectacular session!

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