Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Sin Fang - Half Dreams

Sindri Már Sigfússon, also known as Sin Fang, previously Sin Fang Bous.. Is Iceland's version of Sufjan Stevens. His charismatic vocals and energetic instrumentals scream indie pop, with English lyrics and electronic undertones. He released his 'first' official album 'Summer Echoes' last year. Low-fidelity is kind of Sin Fang's thing, indulging in several unknown progressions of industrial instrumentation and multi-layered vocals. Half Dreams is far more refined, quieter and definitely his standout piece since 2009's 'Clangour'.

This EP has five tracks of indie pop tunes most comparative to the likes of Sujfan Stevens and Belle & Sebastian. Recurring MRD readers will remember the little 'Only Eyes' single review I did a few months back, well that starts the chain of delicate tunes on Half Dreams. It's unfair of me to cap the entire EP this early into a review, but I must proceed in telling you, the reader, that Only Eyes is by far the most thrilling track on the EP. The vocal twirls of 'Walk With You' are lovely and Sin Fang's vocal refrain of, "Let me walk with you in my dreams" is just utterly astonishing to hear with the reverberated brass instrumentation and echo effected electric guitars.

The mass amount of guitar effects start the third track, 'Shine For Me'. Here we have a simplistic acoustic guitar riff and an array of delay/reverb applied to both electric guitar and vocals. The song kicks in around the minute mark and the vocals assert themselves thoroughly as elegant and effective. 'Strange House' is familiar, sounding like 50's Surf and 90's electronic music mixed in with some radio recorded choir vocals. Sin Fang delivers a visionary vocal, much needed among the lo-fi background noises.

'It's Not There' establishes itself as my second favourite track from this EP because of it's dreamy guitar work and catchy vocals. The best part of this track is the final third, with an acoustic guitar riff carefully looped among a speedy and aggressive drumming pattern and electric guitars which are noble, nonchalant and noteworthy. The track comes to a steady close, with Half Dreams imagery and passion fresh in the mind. Vocals swirling and guitars looping, Sin Fang closes his most recent release with satisfaction. This EP has been consistent from the get-go. Instead of mounted low fidelity and lacklustre vocals, Sin Fang has come out with five individual pieces of music which collectively form one of the best Icelandic releases of 2012. There's always room for improvement, and Sin Fang is no exception to the rule, and I can't see him becoming a front runner in Iceland's next big export any time soon, however I can see Sin Fang releasing more sought after indie pop albums in the short coming future.


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