- BROKEN ARROW MUSIC and KALLI the former lead singer and songwriter for Reykjavik’s Without Gravity, will release Escape Artist, his first new album in over six years, on August 8. The 6-song EP is a return to the lush, atmospheric soundscapes reminiscent of his Icelandic homeland, from his last release’s exquisite sojourn into Nashville’s Americana stylings.
Kalli’s previous album Last Train Home (Broken Arrow / Smekkleysa) took the unexpected creative path from Reykjavik to Nashville, where he teamed with some of the town’s best musicians to release an album to widespread acclaim, culminating in a nomination for “Album of the Year” at the Icelandic Music Awards (eventual winner was Sigur Rós front man Jónsi’s solo release Go). The album had the distinct feel one might musically expect when influences from northern Iceland meet America’s front porch.
But Escape Artist fully returns Kalli to his homeland, and to working with longtime collaborator/producer Arnar G. (Leaves). The duo’s magic was first realized on Without Gravity’s recordings, then solidified with Kalli’s debut solo album While the City Sleeps.
As with all of Kalli’s releases, Escape Artist showcases his beautiful vocals and mystical sonic imageries which distinguish and elevate his songs beyond the norm. But here these elements are well moved forward.
The title track and “Head in the Clouds” are grand, muscular music beds juxtaposed beneath Kalli’s intimate vocals. “The River Wild” wonderfully follows its namesake’s natural transitions from peaceful movements to tumbling currents, and back again, throughout the journey.
“Stars in my Pocket” and the lead single “My Bird” showcase Kalli’s continued mastering of the hushed beauty first heard in Without Gravity: sparse, quiet reflections within mesmerizing, musical atmospheres. These are the tracks that give the listener Kalli’s best. Showing the strength of his arrangements, “My Bird” further shines as an instrumental: The album’s coda is a good example of why Kalli’s talents have also been utilized in over 14 films and television shows, including Emmy Award-winning Criminal Minds, City State, and French César Award-winner
The Grocer’s Son.
Escape Artist shows Kalli in a warmly-welcomed return home to Iceland, and yet another push against his own boundaries. It is music to the eyes and ears.
Available: Apple Music / Spotify / Amazon / Deezer
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