Soley’s unique voice and turn of musical phrase has always made her a bit of a musical outsider. In previous albums her balance between noise and industrial ambience and then mystical piano and vocal pieces have not always sat well side by side. However, “Eternal Summer” is where things have come together and this is her strongest showing to date.
Opener “Ua” is creepy and unsettling one moment, then lulling you into a lullaby the next. The piano is joined by lots of tuned percussion and creepy howls as it veers into a Danny Elfman territory – evoking a circus of madness. However, the choruses are a lovely waltzes and the way it switches things up is unique and catches you off guard. “Sing Wood to Silence” continues this new crazed folk circus feel that suits Soley’s voice perfectly. Accordions and layered voices back up strong piano melodies and guitars, as the song builds into its downcast finale. However, the noise ambience isn’t gone – it’s just channelled into mood pieces between tracks. “Inbetween” is a one minute horror movie durge that slides down notes very slowly. It’s more effective in these short bursts and I prefer them that way.
“Never Cry Moon” reminds me of Vanessa Carlton when she does ballads. Soley’s voice has a lilt to it that means she finishes lines slightly down and hushed on the note she might hit. It gives this weary world weathered feel that I really enjoy. “Grow” in many ways harks back to Soley’s earliest work. Simple, swirling piano melodies that are haunting and hypnotic rather than melodic – and voice work that builds and builds in intensity. It’s a great track and shows that her latest style change isn’t too far from the rest of her catalogue. The almost instrumental “Before Falling” gives you space to breathe before the final two tracks hit you over the head with a complex hammer of instruments, melodies, speed and beauty. Both “Traveller” and “Eternal Summer” are long tracks, and work more like symphonies. They merge amazing piano work, synth strings and Soley layering her voice like a choir in places to create an electric choir that washes in and out over little piano solos before the main lyrics flow in. The latter in particular is stylish and impressive to boot.
“Eternal Summer” in many ways makes me feel like Soley has finally found her home. There’s some experimentation here, but it’s wrapped into an emotionally charged, spooky and haunting album. By far her best work to date, if you like an Icelandic musician – here’s another one for you to lap up. A genuinely overwhelming great surprise.
Recommended Track : Eternal Summer