PREMIERE: Sandlóa by Snorri Hallgrímsson

It was in the fall of last year that Snorri Hallgrímsson released part I of Landbrot, a tender musical reflection named for the location of a family cabin in rural Iceland that he considers his “happy place”. Almost exactly a year later, he returns with the second installment which forms the B-side of the complete album. There is a double meaning to be found in the title which literally translates to ‘land fractures’, suggesting the concept of erosion and framing the project as a “search for inner calm & acceptance amongst the many obstacles of daily life”. It is this entwining of happy memories with calm reflection from the perspective of world-weary adulthood that lends the music its poignancy and aching beauty.

Despite the year that has intervened between the two parts, the continuity of tone and mood is seamless as can be heard here in the exclusive premiere of the first single from the new EP in which the composer sketches a delicate scene featuring a favorite bird that forms part of the local fauna.

Sandlóa is the Icelandic name for the common ringed plover, a cute little bird that spends most of its time tiptoeing in our desolate black sand beaches looking for food. The gentle right hand ostinato in the piano of this piece made me think of these tiny creatures, who are somehow too innocent for our wide open spaces. And yet they thrive! They bring me joy on melancholic days, leaving a calming energy with their many steps on the land.

Snorri Hallgrímsson

Links: Pre-Save | Bandcamp (LP/digital) | Snorri Hallgrímsson | Moderna Records

Landbrot II arrives digitally this November 19th via Moderna Records who is also offering a limited 12″ vinyl edition of the complete album (parts I & II combined) in a special pressing paired with additional artwork by Leigh Wells (100 copies) which is now available for pre-order.


photo by Patrik Ontkovic