Icelandic post-punk trio Kaelan Mikla’s fourth album, Undir Koldum Nordurljosum (Under Northern Lights), is a another dose of their awarding winning, bewitching, cinematic post punk. The trio, who really know how to set a mood, sweep you further into their world of folklore, myth and magic. It has a certain dark, enticing vibe, which draws you right in. It’s no wonder they were handpicked by Robert Smith to be one of the openers at the Cure’s 40th Anniversary show a few years back. They just have a certain “it factor”, when it comes to producing goth-influenced post-punk.
Undir Koldum Nordurljosm, opens with the mood setting track, “Svort Augu”, which features layered synths, downbeat programmed drumbeats and whispered vocals to draw the listener right back into their world. “Solstodur” features more of the same bewitching vibe, but adds blood curdling screams into the mix, while “Osynileg” is the most “pop” song on the album, featuring danceable beats, and catchy hooks. (This isn’t to say that the rest of the songs don’t feature dance beats and hooks, it’s just on this one, they are pushed more to the forefront.) “Sirenur”, the longest song on the album at 7:06, is a stunning, slow burn of cinematic post punk.
Alcest mainman Neige, and drummer Winterhalter, guest on “Hvtir Sandar”, Neige contributes guitar and vocals while Winterhalter adds percussion. Their contributions to this track are subtle, as Neige’s guitar comes in later in the song, adding an extra layer of mood, to the already chilly track. It’s the perfect pairing of two artists who might be sonically different, but share a similar vibe and aesthetic.
Undir Koldum Norduljosm, is another fantastic album from this band, which continues to find new ways to thrill and amaze which each new album. On this one, they deliver the dark, post-punk goods you crave, once again, proving they know how to hook listeners with their bewitching sounds. In fact, it’s perfect that it’s coming out during the lead up to Halloween, because it provides the perfect soundtrack for this time of year.
So, forget the light, and give in to their dark, bewitching, nocturnal music.
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