Icelandic pianist and composer Eydis Evensen has a knack for creating some absolutely beautiful melodies that wax and wane like waves. ‘Bylur’, Icelandic for snowstorm, is like a journey across the natural elements – notably water and air. The fluidity of the thirteen tracks gives you a fantastic look into life growing up in Iceland in a small town.
‘Bylur’ is an album that is extremely romantic and feminine. The way Eydis plays the piano means that every single track has a constant roll to it. Like a flurry of snow or a constant stream of water, each track unfurls before you. Evensen rarely goes into a full powerful stride – she doesn’t need to. Instead, she pairs up her piano with evocative strings that support the piano perfectly. ‘Deep Under’, ‘Northern Sky’ and both ‘Wandering I & II’ all have this delicate balance where the two sides work in tandem. Add in some understated brass and very subtle use of synth panning and you have a rich post-classical tapestry of work.
Towards the end of the album, Eydis Evensen starts to bring other elements into the mix as she starts to spread her wings further. One of the few piano solo pieces ‘Nturdogg’ is one of my favourites on the album. It is an intricate downward spiral of piano that is pouring with emotion and passion. The sole vocal track with guest GDRN is ‘Midnight Moon’. It is a beautiful ballad that allows GDRN’s smooth low voice to shine in the moody piece. These are excellent additions to what is a largely romantic and sentimental sounding album. The closing track is also the title track and it encompasses everything that Eydis Evensen does so very well. It is sweeping, understatedly cinematic and oozes heart and warmth.
Not only is ‘Bylur’ her debut album, but it also marks a new sub-label for Sony too. Called XXIM Records, it is designed to promote instrumental post-music. This is a great way to kick off with a statement of intent as Eydis Evensen is the real deal. Take it on a nature walk and you’ll have a fantastic soundtrack to get lost with.