Album review: Júníus Meyvant – Floating Harmonies

It was a tough time of waiting. After all, anticipation was aroused already quite some time ago with a wonderful EP. But now it’s finally the day and Unnar Gísli Sigurmundsson, who’s more familiar to most of us as Júníus Meyvant, recently pleased us with the release of his first full length album: Floating Harmonies. If you think about this title while listening to the 12 tracks of his first one you might come to the conclusion that there’s barely a better title. Júníus’ compositions, most of which have been thought of by himself, are literally floating from your speakers, light and airy but never trivial. In fact, you will feel a little lighter and eased yourself. And this feeling is present right from the start, you won’t have to wait for the arguably most remarkable track of this flawless album, Neon Experience.  A little surprisingly, Be a Man is an instrumental opener but nevertheless this song already leads the way we are going to follow Júníus willingly during the next about 53 minutes. No warm-up phase, but all the more pure Júníus-Meyvant-sound from the very beginning, almost in the manner of a big band. Melodies carried by strings and horns, raising to euphoric heights during the development of the track. In contrast, the second song Beat Silent Need could almost be described as silently sneaking with its percussion intro, a delicate guitar riff and, finally, Júníus’ brilliant, unique and slightly husky voice. A voice with a melancholic keynote that does not only work very well with more pensive tracks but also adds a nice contrast to the cheerful ones. Color Decay and afterwards also Neon Experience, Hailslide, Mighty Backbone, Gold Laces and Signals have already been released on the EP or as Singles, respectively, during the past years. Domestic Grace Man is a beautiful ballad carried by acoustic guitars and something like a first pause to take a breath. If you want to call it that way. After all, you usually need a pause to breath when you’re exhausted which, however, will never happen during this album. But it’s a song that makes you dream away and get lost in your thoughts rather than shake a leg. You could call it a representative of Júníus Meyvant’s second musical personality which can also be found in other songs like Gold Laces, Manos and the utterly beautiful Signals. In order to prevent you from fading away in your dreams completely the boppy Mighty Backbone drags you back to move your feet.

Floating Harmonies is an album without nooks and corners. But it’s an album that actually doesn’t need nooks and corners to impress and convince us. Is a great album for every day, may it be a happy or a depressing one.

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