by Key Kool *
A Peninsula in Iceland
The West Fjords is a peninsula in Iceland that is a highly mountainous area with many indentations of fjords that make the region difficult to access. While the West Fjords are sparsely inhabited, the many fjords in the area are also natural harbors that are vital for the local fishing economy. The album Telescope by a group named the West Fjords provides a unique auditory landscape that harbors music rich with an emotionally provocative subtly. Upon listening to the music of the West Fjords, one can imagine retreating to the Icelandic peninsula in an attempt to heal their soul.
Crash Landing starts the album off with a driving rhythm layered with acoustic guitar, sprinkled with synth chords and arpeggiator, blended with convincingly delivered vocals. As the track builds and pulsates, vocalist Micah croons “Countless hours pass me by, growing old before my time, I will perish in the everglades.” It is not just one element that stands out about this song, but all parts combined; the song simply connects with the very feeling of heart break: the beat races like irrational emotions running rampant while at the same time, as the pain marinates, time could not pass more slowly.
Floating House is a song that feels like a sunrise after the pain subsides. West Fjords creator, Christian Marquez produces and arranges a nicely woven combination of electronic and acoustic instruments, along with smartly written poetic lyrics. Vocalist Lynsey Vandenburg’s beautiful voice hints a melancholy optimism as she sings: “Drifting above the clouds, counting the stars out loud, climbing a sleeping air, sitting on empty stairs, shuttle me up somewhere, I know that you’ll be there, travel and close your eyes, dreaming the evening sky.”
Debt of Lovers
There are many memorable songs on Telescope, but the arguable single would have to be Debts of Lovers. No highfalutin description for this song, it is just good. Good lyrics, good melody, and feels good. Debts of Lovers is the type of song that you would hear on the radio, in the shopping mall, on VH1, and you should really get sick of hearing it, but don’t.
Adrift at Twilight
Adrift at Twilight is a haunting song with a beautiful voice and somber melody that is eerily catchy. The song begins with a guitar, and Lynsey’s simply hypnotic vocals. As the song progresses, Christian joins harmonizing: “look into the horizons, twilight is here to stay, watching the passing moments, throwing the past away..” The track builds to a climatic instrumental, then, breaks back down to the harmonizing vocals to end the song. Adrift at Twilight has a mysteriously sticky melody and strikes an emotional chord as well.
While the West Fjords may not yet be a household name, Telescope certainly is an album that proves to be a secret “fishing hole” (for now), of music created with genuine expression and talent. The production, arrangement and lyrics of West Fjords Christian Marquez throughout Telescope is uncontrived and never over-produced. The music of the West Fjords is appealing without the intent to gain mass appeal, how refreshing.
Telescope is picturesque: simply emotionally vivid music.
The West Fjords Official Site
The West Fjords of Facebook
The West Fjords on Twitter
The West Fjords Band Photo by Tom Takigayama