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World's Leading Terrorist State
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Jósa & Lotta
's third album is the Icelandic duo's rawest and most diverse musical statement within the frame of their folk-influenced, minimalistic sound.
comprises material written over the course of one and a half years. While most parts of the album are sparsely orchestrated and follow the experimental lo-fi-leaning aesthetics of the duo's previous two records,
(MORR 101CD/LP, 2010) and
(MORR 121CD/LP, 2012), the overall tone has become rawer with its metronome-like rhythms, occasional synth lines and driving piano melodies.
lends its title from the Icelandic proverb "sundur og saman" (meaning "apart and together") and could be considered the companion of
. Thematically, it reflects upon the voluntary separation of the two sisters. "We had never been apart our entire lives until we finished touring with our last album", remembers
went to Amsterdam to study classical piano and composition and back to Iceland, her sister Jófríður went to tour the world with her other band,
. It turned Pascal Pinon's writing process upside down. Although Ásthildur and Jófríður frequently visited each other in the Netherlands and respectively Iceland from early 2014 until late 2015 to finish the writing process, the geographical separation also influenced their compositions and thus the album as a whole. "The fact that we spent so much time apart creates completely different connections between the songs than on
, which for me makes it more diverse in the best way possible", says Ásthildur. Indeed
sees two different people arriving at their shared creative goal. Due to a conflict of schedules, Ásthildur and Jófríður ended up recording the bulk of
in only two days. Their father, composer
, helped out with the engineering and contributed percussions played with scrap metal he brought with him, including discarded parts of airplanes. While few of those details will be audible on the surface, the unpolished sound design and added bits are crucial to
. "It makes the album feel more real and raw which is what it essentially is all about," explains Jófríður. "It's very sparse and a lot closer in the approach and in regards to the sound of our very first album. It's kind of funny that seven years later, we would go back to the same place where we were at age 14!"
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