Release Date: May 12, 2017
Record label: Morr Music
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Indie Pop
In the two years since her last album, Ask the Deep, sóley has undergone some serious life changes (not least becoming a mother), and it seems as though these have led to her third album, Endless Summer, being imbued with a newly found optimism, standing as the bright yin to the dark yang of its predecessor. Opener "Úa", named in honour of her daughter, begins with a gossamer light piano refrain that instantly showcases Sóley's classically trained skills as a pianist, as well as her natural ear for a solid pop melody. It's riven with a "you and me versus the world" aesthetic that strides toward a sweeping crescendo.
After establishing a contemplative, overcast chamber electro-pop across a span of two albums, Icelandic musician Sóley Stefánsdóttir veers slightly off her established course to take a more scenic route for her third solo LP. Titled Endless Summer, it took inspiration from a note she scribbled down after waking in the middle of the night: "Write about hope and spring." Still restrained and artful in its detailing, the album takes on a more whimsical tone and piano-centric palette than her prior effort, 2015's Ask the Deep, while still sounding uniquely Sóley. It opens with a passage of solo piano from the instrument's upper range on "Úa," which shares her daughter's name.
Sóley is a national treasure--in Iceland, that is. The 30-year-old singer-songwriter rose to prominence in her home country just over a decade ago, when she began contributing backing vocals and pianos to the seven-piece indie pop act Seabear. After the band paused following its 2010 album, Sóley almost immediately dove headfirst into a tremendously successful solo career of dismal, often moribund folk.
“I woke up in the middle of the night and wrote a note to myself: ‘Write about hope and Spring’”. So says Icelandic singer and multi-instrumentalist Sóley regarding the inspiration for her third album, Endless Summer. Lovely as that sounds, it’s not the most enticing advertisement for the record. After all, there are plenty of albums that deal with themes of hope and springtime that are utterly banal, featherweight counterparts to the weightier material from winter and autumn.