Thursday 26 June 2014

Artist To Check Out: Ívar Páll Jónsson

Article by KevW

How does the thought of an indie-rock opera sound? Quite off-putting I'd imagine, but you'll probably be pleasantly surprised by 'Revolution In The Elbow Of Ragnar Agnarsson Furniture Painter', a concept album and upcoming theatre performance conceived by Icelandic composer Ívar Páll Jónsson. We've had no sneak preview of the show (it opens in New York in August), but the concept album is ambitious, occasionally outlandish but importantly contains some great tunes. With a release date of July 15th, 'Revolution In The Elbow...' has, naturally, been mentioned alongside similar projects such as The Who's 'Tommy' or David Bowie's 'The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust...'.

There is a slight hint of '70s rock to some of the tracks, and you wouldn't be surprised f you were told that 'We Played The Game' was written in that era, but it's a rollicking ride. 'The Legacy Of Elbowville' is much more modern though, and brings in elements of trip-hop, soul, drum and bass and alt-rock to create one of many songs that work perfectly well as stand-alone tracks as opposed to being one cog in the wheel of a much bigger machine. The simple guitar riff to 'Midas Reborn' offers a glimpse of grunge before the song expands into something far grander and more ambitious; theatrical elements do creep in from time to time but don't get in the way too much if you're just here for the music. Positioned somewhere between 'Lady Stardust' and a Britpop ballad with an experimental edge, 'All We Need Is Confidence' is ironically-named, because given the songs that Ívar Páll Jónsson and co. have created for this project, confidence is something they're far from lacking.

Ívar Páll Jónsson's website

'Revolution In The Elbow...''s website

Pre-order the album

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