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Amiina – “Puzzle” Review

Amiina return with their second album “Puzzle” and evolve their sound into a more electrical ambience than their debut.

Opening with “Asinn” static percussive beats are moulded around all the fantastically strange instruments the girls all play already and it slowly grows and evolves into a more Sigur Ros climactic piece and it rises and rises like a pheonix from the ashes. It’s absolutely euphoric and a fantastic opener. “Over and Again” returns to a more dreamy electro-bell sound but again has much more a band sound to it with drums and real vocals with real lyrics. The way the vocals are slanted in the delivery and production make them melt into the strings and its such an aural treat. The track is absolutely beautiful.

“What Are We Waiting For” again has bass, strings and words which layered over the music boxes and turning cogs make a completely unique and hypnotic sound that draws you in. Amiina show once again Iceland are masters of building up tracks into emotive finales as the track evolves and grows. If you love etheral otherworldly music, this track and album are absolutely for you. “Pusl” is a return to roots with a pure instrumental melody that rolls around your head for hours and showcases exactly what brought me to them with their debut album.

“In The Sun” is a quietly happy track that lazily sways itself through the ears as if you really are laying down in a field in summer. It’d be great for a mobile phone advert actually to get rid of some of those sneery songs we get on them! “Mambo” too surprisingly for the name is relatively relaxed to begin with before the beat kicks in and you appreciate just how cleverly interwoven all the weird and wonderful instruments Amiina play are. It’s just a seemless wall of sound that you cannot and do not want to escape from.

“Sicsak” is where Amiina really stretch their muscles with a Sigur Ros esque track of epic standards. The strings in this track are heartbreaking and with the twinkling instruments of Amiina swirling around behind them and big drums pounding away, you cannot help but be swept away in awe of its beauty. “Thoka” closes the album with a sorrowful string led track that fades away and leaves a lasting memory.

“Puzzle” is a masterpiece of musical art. Amiina’s debut was excellent but this is absolutely stunning. When I first heard the album I sat in silence for a few minutes to actually digest it and I don’t think I’ve dont that for an album for a very long time. Achingly beautiful from beginning to end, I cannot recommend this enough.

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