In a genre that is virtually defined by its sober nature and weighty themes, a little whimsy and humor can be a breath of fresh air, especially when it is as artfully conceived as Plïnkï Plønki, an Icelandic music project that describes itself as “a 50 piece ensemble that doesn’t exist”. That droll description, the bold primary colors of their album art, and the alliterative playfulness in the name itself all promise something refreshingly different for the open-minded modern classical listener. But the clever wordplay doesn’t end there.
The title of Pangur Din, their sophomore full-length album due this fall is itself a play on words from the 9th-century poem “Pangur Bán” written by an anonymous Irish monk (“So in peace our task we ply, Pangur Ban, my cat, and I; In our arts we find our bliss, I have mine and he has his“). In fact, set for a release to coincide with European Day of Languages, each song on the album is a Celtic language reference given abstract musical form.
Pangur Din sees Plïnkï Plønkï developing their music into a broader spectrum of sound with an expanded lineup that now includes clarinets, harps, electric guitars, synths, vibraphone and more along with the familiar backdrop of pianos, acoustic guitar, musical saws, strings, percussion, field recordings, and home movies. It is an utterly charming record that deftly balances its amiable eccentricities with some seriously lovely compositions and immersive atmospheres. What’s not to like about an album that puts a smile on your face while making you think and occasionally tugging at your heartstrings?
Here in an exclusive premiere is a preview of the album’s closing track “Reul” along with the accompanying B-side “Seren”, one being an Irish language term for ‘star’, the other Welsh.
Pangur Din will be available from Piano and Coffee Records beginning September 26, 2019 on limited edition cassette and digital and features colorful artwork by Jordan Amy Lee.