Release Date: Jun 18, 2013
Record label: Cooperative Music
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Electronic
Iamamiwhoami’s pretensions border on the unparalleled, considering the duo’s history of shrouding themselves in enigma, clever PR stunts and the artsy symbolism of their videos. Next up on the list: a second record released as a prequel to the first. Press release-induced nausea aside, this merely refers to the fact that this collection of songs was released online before the first record.
Considering that the internet is drowning under the weight of pornography and gossip websites (it is; we’ve looked), it feels like a miracle that something like iamamiwhoami exists. bounty is the ‘prologue’ to last year’s kin, and brings together in one place/object the previously released multimedia series that had surfaced before kin was released as iamamiwhoami’s first album proper. Between 2010 and 2012, beneath a cloak of anonymity and all kinds of mystery, iamamiwhoami released what could best be described as music videos onto YouTube.
Though Jonna Lee and Claes Björklund chose to make Kin the debut album from their mysterious project iamamiwhoami, it was the songs that make up bounty that started it all. While Kin was a more polished and cohesive set of songs overall, the weirdness of bounty's tracks -- which provided a soundtrack to the enigmatic viral videos that the duo created -- still holds a powerful appeal long after the identities of the people behind the music were revealed. In fact, it might be easier to just enjoy this music without the need to guess who made it, and there's a lot to enjoy on bounty, from the dreamy electronic fragments of "b" to the more defined synth pop of "o," which mourns and celebrates "love/the kind that kills.
Listen to bounty while waiting for the subway and the squeals of machinery become part of it. Listen to it while driving through New England greenery and it’ll fit just as neatly. This is music that absorbs its surroundings. It’s written to accompany the surrealist shorts that Jonna Lee and the artists around her started releasing via YouTube in 2009, but it’s easily divided from them.
Originally released as a set of maddeningly cryptic videos back in 2010, the songs that comprise iamamiwhoami’s ‘bounty’ are finally seeing the light of day as a full studio release. Since ‘bounty’ was originally conceived and released, the stock of Swedish singer-songwriter Jonna Lee (the golden blonde behind the iamamiwhoami moniker) has risen ever higher, culminating in an ‘Innovator of the Year’ award at the Swedish Grammis for the original series. The record itself is a joyful exploration of synthy soundscapes and haunting vocals, underpinned by strangely industrial-sounding drums.