Stein Urheim & Mari Kvien Brunvoll
For Individuals Facing The Terror Of Cosmic Loneliness
Stein Urheim and Mari Kvien Brunvoll are a duo that was destined to happen, no matter what. Their symmetry, their perfect blend that produces such marvellous colours, textures and moods, seems inevitable when you listen to it.
The old and new have always been combined in a unique way by the duo, but with For Individuals Facing The Terror Of Cosmic Loneliness, they have taken their craft even further. The distinctive alchemy of lo-fi transmuted to something more evocative than the purest of hi-fi, the shimmering melodies and hazy sunshine progressions, and the bizarre conglomeration of the childlike with the eerie that were present on their previous releases Daydream Community and Daydream Twin are here given additional winding paths to wander through. There are hints of Morricone Spaghetti Western; veritably horizontal lounge lizardry that would shame Dean Martin; bossanovas from the outer cosmos; dub reggae that suffers from chronic autophobia; proto-ambient hipster-devouring Far-Eastern blues; curiously delicate soundscapes; parties for the ghosts of the closing time patrons of The Penguin Café; electric folk from a deep blue stratosphere; sparse baroque soundtracks for a benighted Venetian excursion; and dismembered blue Victorian music hall ditties and ballads, crawling to the 1950s to reunify while no-one is watching.
Simply put, there is nothing quite like it.
The lyrics, too, inhabit the realms of the unconventional, with inspiration taken from equally diverse sources, from Federico García Lorca to Bertrand Russell (the latter of which helped supply that absolute blinder of an album title).
The duo, on this album, are accompanied by Jørgen Træen, who supplied some synth, mellotron and programming expertise. As would be expected, though, Stein and Mari bring a veritable battalion of sound-making equipment to the fray, ranging from their perfectly complimentary vocals to guitars, bouzouki, kazoos, kalimba, flutes and seemingly just about anything that could be brought into the studio, all of which is processed in performance by an array of looping and sampling devices and effects.
The result of this free and playful approach to music and words is an album that exudes joy and wonder, both for the world around it and itself. That Russell-inspired title might seem like a big claim, but it is absolutely true: this is music for individuals facing the terror of cosmic loneliness, because, quite frankly, it might be the best antidote (to be taken twice a day or when required).
PREVIOUS REVIEWS OF DAYDREAM TWIN AND DAYDREAM COMMUNITY:
“..a complex product.. here is intelligent and true simplicity..” www.ettoregarzia.blogspot.it (IT)
“..the pair create some exciting soundscapes together, tweaking the lattice of strings and small percussion into something half psychedelic, half meditative..” Chicago Reader- The Bleader blog (USA)
“Musically, it ranges from noise to country and the transition from one to the other sounds like the most natural in the world. The duo manages to create a good and relaxed atmosphere and combine it with a perfect control of buttons and strings. “ Jazznytt (NO)
“Do you need a 28 minute break from the everyday trivialities and an ostentatious public debate? Here is a little album from two of Bergen’s least tweeting, but most treasured musicians, guitarist Stein Urheim and vocalist Mari Kvien Brunvoll. (…) Here the two meet in a kind of union of musical reveries. Together they mix electronica with West African rhythms, jazz licks with country-inspired song and western blues. The result is crooked and gently pop that sounds original and evocative, as a parallel reality to dive into. It is admittedly narrow, you have to be vigilant and creep slightly together to manage to get in. But if you manage it, the ear cups will be filled with willow catkins. The dense green summer forest photos on the cover supports this feeling further. This album is a good place to be.” 5/6 Bergens Tidene (NO)
“There is a calmness and an atmosphere in these daydreams that it is wonderful to be dragged in to. Stein Urheim and Mari Kvien Brunvoll has something totally uniqe on the agenda, and for everyone out there with an open mind in all kinds of ways, here’s a lot of beautiful, personal and timeless music from a duo that we hopefully will be able to enjoy for years to come.” www.side2.no
BOOKING/ CONTACT: contact(at)steinmarimusic.com, steinurheim(at)gmail.com or marikvienbrunvoll(at)gmail.com