Sóley: Lo-Fi Quaintness And Dark Surrealism In "I'll Drown," Sóley sings in hushed tones as if confessing dark secrets to a childhood friend.
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Sóley: Lo-Fi Quaintness And Dark Surrealism

Review

Sóley: Lo-Fi Quaintness And Dark Surrealism

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In "I'll Drown," Sóley sings in hushed tones as if confessing dark secrets to a childhood friend.

Inga Birgisdottir hide caption

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Inga Birgisdottir

In "I'll Drown," Sóley sings in hushed tones as if confessing dark secrets to a childhood friend.

Inga Birgisdottir

Thursday's Pick

Song: "I'll Drown"
Artist: Sóley
CD: We Sink
Genre: Pop

Songwriting can be a personal and revealing process. But for Sóley (last name: Stefánsdóttir), it's an excuse to tap into a separate dream-like world — a world that, until recently, was distant for her, too. Sóley had collaborated with many of her fellow Icelandic artists, but it was only last year, when Seabear was on a break, that she began to seriously pursue a solo career.

Though her songs aren't autobiographical, she sings in hushed tones as if confessing dark secrets to a childhood friend. Sóley's debut album opens with the skeletal beat of "I'll Drown," which she recorded in her house with the help of found objects like a fork and a stick from the yard, lending the song a sweet, whimsical tone. Like the hook of a good pop song, the words in the chorus ("I drown when I see you") succinctly evoke the giddy feeling of love in a way that's both succinct and universal.

And yet there's also a foreboding undercurrent to the song's gentle, homegrown sound that allows it to resonate on multiple levels. Far from being just an innocent little love song as the chorus suggests, "I'll Drown" chronicles the strange, sad story of an old man and his surprise houseguest, a young girl. If you're not paying attention, you might miss their fate, which can be summed up in the words of the album title that Sóley sings softly over the dying notes of the piano: "We Sink." The magic of her songwriting lies in this liminal space, poised between lo-fi quaintness and dark surrealism.

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Album
We Sink
Artist
Sóley
Label
Morr Music
Released
2011

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