Happy new year! This post has nothing to do with the new year, but I hope these album recommendations will help start your year off on the right foot!
These albums are either sending shivers down my spine every time I listen to them (because when you go indoors to escape the cold outside, what else would you rather do than shiver there too?) or otherwise being put on my playlist on repeat:
Ólafur Arnalds. Just. Ólafur Arnalds. More specifically, these two are my faves from our collection:
Island Songs by Ólafur Arnalds (streaming on hoopladigital only)
Re:member by Ólafur Arnalds is also amazing, but Island Songs is what originally got me into Arnalds and really listening. Literally sent shivers down my spine as I listened, as well as making me very emotional at times throughout the album. (Also, what a beautiful story behind the album!)
How to describe Arnalds’ music? I think he describes it this way himself in the insert to Re:member (though I don’t have the CD in front of me and can’t verify this, so take with a grain of salt), but it feels as though I’m listening to the soundtrack of a film, except there’s no film that it follows. Ambient music? Soundtrack? Instrumental, I guess. However you categorize it (if we must), it is beautiful.
See more below the cut.
This album was what got me interested in fado. As one of the comments on Bibliocommons says, “You don’t need to understand a word of Portuguese in order to appreciate good music! Lovely voice and great selection of songs. Give it a try!” And I would also urge you to give this album a listen.
If you do like it, we also have Desfado by Ana Moura in our catalogue as well.
This next one’s kind of completely different in terms of genre, and I can’t say I actually adore it the way I do the other two, but once I gave it a thorough listen from beginning to end, I found myself putting it on repeat throughout the weekend: Queiro Volver by TINI (Martina Stoessel, the singer who sang Libre soy, the Latin Spanish version of Let it Go from Frozen). I picked it up on a whim since we had the album in our New Arrivals section, and although I have mixed feelings about it, I’m still glad I did. While I don’t know much about Latin pop music, I want to say this is what I imagine would probably be pretty standard fare for that genre.
As far as lyrics go, I can’t say the English tracks impressed me at all – I can’t say too much about the Spanish ones since I don’t understand the language – but I did enjoy the album overall as catchy as it was. I would probably describe this as essentially a breakup & sob kind of album (I would otherwise also describe this as “unhealthily romanticizing past relationships”, but that seems harsh. A small selection of some of the lyrics: Prefiero vivir esperando a aceptar que no estás (Por qué te vas); or in Respirar: sin ti no sé respirar), and several of the songs – if not the entire album – would probably be a great addition to your next heartbroken playlist! (I’m assuming some of us are constructing this or already fully immersed in their heartbreak playlist by now, given we’re a few weeks past one of the peak breakup times of the year (2 weeks before Christmas) next to Spring Break according to this visualization based on 2008 Facebook status updates from Information is Beautiful, so you’re welcome!)