Hfn Music, 2012
REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 08/09/2012
Does anything mediocre come from Iceland when it comes to music? While you may not like all the musical offerings coming from the mysterious region of ice to the north, you really can’t deny most of it is at least intriguing if not enthralling. Comprised of two luminaries from their respective areas, Human Woman consists of Gisli Galdur Thorgeirsson of the esteemed Icelandic band Trabant, and producer Jón Atli Helgason, also known as Sexy Lazer. Together, the pair forges a unique and often mysterious form of electronic indie rock.
A duo that embraces guitars and bass just as much as they do synth and electronic drums, Human Woman lay the groundwork on the opening track “Einn Eftir” with smooth vocals, cryptic atmospheres, and an overall moody and chilling feel. Their penchant for beats becomes apparent on “Delusional,” which takes nods at ‘80s electronic, while on “White Knight” they find a mellow groove and run with it, switching gears in an immediately delightful way.
While much of current electronic based music runs the risk of blending together into one long song, Human Woman adds a lot of diversity throughout. Tracks like “Lazer & Magic” sound dizzy and often veer off course, while the album closer “Sleepy” builds seemingly endless melody with an almost classical feel – it’s a track designed for the mature ear.
This is a disc that wouldn’t be out of place on a mixtape with Depeche Mode or even modern day artists like Kasper Bjorke. This offering could have been penned in any decade since the ‘80s and still would sound relevant. When you add extremely polished instrumentation, charming melodies, and plenty of universally pop friendly moments, it’s not so much if you’ll like this disc but just how much you will like it. Someday, people will speak of Human Woman in the same way they speak of Bjork or Sigur Ros (other Iceland outfits), as creative, flourishing, and a listening experience that only enriches one’s existence.