Sóley Stefánsdóttir, AKA: Sóley, is following the May 2015 release of her sophomore full-length album, Ask The Deep, Sóley is now releasing a new EP called Don’t Ever Listen for Morr Music.
Don’t Ever Listen collects five intimate tracks that were originally recorded as demos for Ask The Deep, but initially dismissed by Sóley because she wanted the album to feature fewer guitar sounds. The EP is out this week.
The tracks on Don’t Ever Listen were recorded between 2012 and 2015, split between an artist retreat on the Irish island Inis Oírr and Sóley’s then-new home in Iceland. Having just moved houses, Sóley opted for a more provisional recording solution, as her studio hadn’t yet been fully set-up. The resulting collection predominantly relies on simple lo-fi guitar motifs, eschewing the Icelandic artist’s usual atmospherics and electronic flourishes. However, the EP doesn’t stray too far from her roots: dense piano ballad “I Will Find You” clearly evokes the ethos of Ask The Deep, and “N.Y. Hotel” — the first cover she has ever recorded — carefully re-interprets The Knife’s brittle original.
Still, the result is far from modest; in fact, the instrumental minimalism leaves more room for Sóley’s voice, which is multiplied and manipulated in perfect symbiosis to her lyrics which revolve around themes of longing, fear and of course the occasional ghost.
Sóley began her solo career in 2010, after studying piano and composition at the Iceland Art Academy, and playing with fellow Morr-signees Seabear. Her first EP, Theater Island, was shortly followed by her debut LP We Sink. The album exposed Sóley’s murky witches brew of electronic and folk music with eerie themes to match, illustrated by standout songs like “Pretty Face”.
Following the release of Don’t Ever Listen, Sóley is planning to record two new EPs focusing on single instruments — accordion and organ, respectively — which will form a trilogy with the piano-based Krómantik.