Pascal Pinon – “53” (Stereogum Premiere)

Icelandic duo Pascal Pinon is made up of sisters Ásthildur and Jófrídur Ákadóttir. They make a lo-fi, minimalistic brand of folk-inspired music to accompany cutting, potent writing. The duo’s third album, Sundur, is due later this summer. The title of the album is adopted from the Icelandic proverb sundur og saman, meaning “apart and together,” and it’s inspired by the first time the two split from each other while Jófrídur went to tour with her other band Samaris and Ásthildur went to Amsterdam to study classic piano and composition. That separation anxiety led to an unexpected evolution in their sound stemming from a creative process which factored in both and emotional and physical distance for the first time. Hence, the first taste of the album, “53,” is different than anything on either of their two previous albums.

“53” is still minimal, but it’s deftly dense in it’s sparseness. The duo exhibits a command of when to bring in warped synths, breezy atmospheric sweeps, and rumbling bass or to just let the gorgeous, driving guitar strums ride out. This new sonic experimentation doesn’t take away from their simple but powerful lyrics. The song opens with “His mother that would have been 53 her misery too harrowing” and that potent emotion doesn’t relent as they join in beautiful harmonies for a cathartic crescendo. “53” is chasmic musically, but it’s filled and fueled by undeniably provocative feelings. Listen.

Tracklist:

01 “Jósa & Lotta”
02 “53”
03 “Forest”
04 “Skammdegi”
05 “Fuglar”
06 “Spider Light”
07 “Orange”
08 “Twax”
09 “Babies”
10 “Ást”
11 “Weeks”

Sundur is out 8/19 on Morr Music.

Tags: Pascal Pinon