In a year when the sombre balladeer pining across forgettable laptop-lite has become the default delivery for the unimaginative, we should applaud the return of Rökkurró, whose new single, ‘The Backbone’, a paean to their Reykjavik home, is a triumph of slow and moody electronica-edged introspection, thanks to its orchestral approach. Sure, the chord progression holds no shocks, but listen to that compatible lope of kick-drum and snare, those gorgeous fretless bass runs, that misty synth enveloping slivers of piano, the track’s measured wax and wane, and, of course, the voluptuous vocal of Hildur Kristín Stefánsdóttir (we’re guessing ‘Hildy' to friends). Kate Bush-like in its outlandish scope and inevitably Bjorkish in stress, her voice forms the emotional vanguard to this Icelandic tearjerker, a lesson in how to wallow opulently.
The Backbone is out now.
Words by Nick Mee: Follow @Nickjmee on Twitter