Pascal Pinon


This is the debut full-length release by Pascal Pinon, a bunch of very talented 16-year-old Icelandic teenage girls headed by twin sisters Jófrídur and Ásthildur with their band mates Halla and Kristín. Since the name "Pascal Pinon" refers to a two-headed freak-show "celebrity" who died in 1929 (and whose second head was really just a tumor modeled to look like a cranium by means of a wax enhancement), one might expect some rather disturbed DIY compositions, especially given that this band is two-headed as well (the twin thing). Yet, these young ladies instead focus on altogether different facets of life: like a latter-day Thoreau, Jófrídur praises the beauty of nature in the opening track, which translates to "Under Clear Sky," comprised of three beautiful chords and some poetic lines she composed when she was 13. Elsewhere, the four girls pay homage to Icelandic poet Davíd Stefánsson (1895-1964), and cite rather expected and unexpected ("thin walls," "shyness") influences to their music, singing in English as well as Icelandic, while deliberately ignoring the latest technical advancements: a bedroom, a bunch of guitars, flutes, and a glockenspiel will do just fine, just like that one microphone they placed in the middle of the house they rented to record their fragile DIY gems. Keeping their tracks short and crisp, they avoid both the cheap slickness of campfire romanticism and the supposedly fresh edge of the next teenage hype or the most "likes" on Facebook. Instead, Pascal Pinon are all about creating a connection, the smallest possible distance between their own feelings and the listeners. Call it nude folk, new Romanticism or the new shy -- what matters is that Pascal Pinon, though no longer the "gang of 14-year-olds" they were when they recorded this album, are just getting started. While their self-titled debut, which they independently released in Iceland, earning them a nomination for "Newcomer of the Year" at last year's Icelandic Music Awards, has been picked up by Morr Music for an international release (naturally it was their parents who signed the contract), they're already busy learning new instruments and working on their sophomore LP. Considering that, the whole claim about their songs being "all terrible shit" ("I Wrote A Song") is an outright lie.