Release Date: Nov 6, 2012
Record label: Cooperative Music / To Whom It May Concern
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Electronic
For some music fans, trying to figure out exactly who was behind the series of viral music videos credited to iamamiwhoami in 2009 and 2010 was addictive. The mysterious artist's work was certainly presented in an obsession-making way: each clip offered tantalizing snippets of atmospheric music set to equally eerie and beautiful imagery like a trail of virtual breadcrumbs (it's no wonder that iamamiwhoami was nominated for, and won, several awards for this innovative strategy) that led to guesses that artists such as Björk, the Knife, and Fever Ray's Karin Dreijer or Trent Reznor were behind it all. However, when it was revealed that the much lesser-known Swedish singer/songwriter Jonna Lee was iamamiwhoami's creative force, it was more intriguing than if it had been the work of a more established artist.
Where do broken-out artists go? Ask duo iamamiwhoami, who've gotten an idea. The project had an unusual roll-out. In December 2009, a video emerged from nothing, followed by a few more. Each was striking in its mystery. They were short, a minute or so each of slow clips: the sort of forest where ….
Review Summary: A glistening waterfront with an ocean of potential under it. iamamiwhoami has done very well at marketing herself on a relatively small budget, using YouTube and blogs to carefully build up anticipation and exposure for this album by releasing a new video every fortnight, effectively releasing the entire album brick by brick while also providing a short film (included here on a DVD bonus disc) for fans to piece together as well, giving them another reason to keep coming back. Unfortunately, this talking point is interesting enough to be in danger of overshadowing the music itself.
The name alone is mysterious: iamamiwhoami. Who is it? What is it? Where did it come from? For months, nobody knew. Beginning in December 2009, a series of cryptic YouTube videos appeared, featuring original music in an electropop style and a blonde woman with a blurred-out face. Who was this woman? The videos offered hints in the form of coded messages, but no definite answers.
Is it Bjork? Gaga? Or perhaps it’s Aguilera? The internet asked these questions in 2009 as bloggers received a series of short videos featuring an enigmatic blonde woman. Soon her identity was revealed as Swede Jonna Lee (aka iamamiwhoami) who released a further seven videos under her ‘Bounty’ project, all accompanied by her own full-length songs clearly influenced by the Knife, Bjork and Portishead. Don’t mistake this mysterious marketing as the weak façade Wu Lyf used though as she eventually bagged a Swedish Grammy for Innovator Of The Year.
A solid debut, but offering little to justify its makers’ ‘innovative’ reputation. Alex Denney 2012 Recently, a glut of self-consciously arty, female-fronted synth-pop projects have been unleashed on the listening public, from web pixie Grimes to fame monster Gaga, Fever Ray to Florence + the Machine. The vogue finds something of an apotheosis in iamamiwhoami, aka Swedish songwriter Jonna Lee and producer Claes Björklund.