Ólafur Arnalds, For Now I Am Winter - April 2nd
When I have a task that requires the utmost concentration I turn to the instrumental and composers. When I turn to instrumental music and composers I usually turn to Ólafur Arnalds. The Icelandic composer recently announced the release of a forthcoming album with Mercury Classics titled, For Now I Am Winter. If you have grown accustomed to the purely instrumental arrangements of Arnalds you will be surprised to hear vocals (Arnór Dancan) on the upcoming album. It took me awhile to get used to but when I did I found it a pleasant change. The addition of vocals could have easily detracted from the sweeping arrangements. Instead they toe the line, at times emerging in the foreground and then sliding back to allow the rest of the composition to breathe. The result is something uniquely Ólafur, though I can't help but be reminded of Jerome Alexander and Message to Bears. Look for an album that progresses in a much different way than what you would normally expect from Arnalds.
Until April 2nd though take some time to explore some of Ólafur's past offerings such as Eulogy for Evolution and ...and They Have Escaped the Weight of Darkness. In addition to great audio, there are great visuals and even sheet music to be found on his website. Below enjoy the track "Only the Winds" from the forthcoming For Now I am Winter. Something about that album title really sticks with me. Also find the album preview and for good measure find an interactive version of "Only the Winds" on Ólafur's website.