Icelandic multi-instrumentalist and producer Ólafur Arnalds is thrilled to present his new single/video, “Back To The Sky” (Feat. JFDR), out today via Mercury KX. “Back To The Sky” follows Arnalds’ 2018 album re:member, a technological triumph featuring his ground-breaking, patented, self-playing and semi-generative Stratus Pianos, which he supported on a 140+ date world tour in 2018-19, selling out concert venues around the globe including London’s famed Royal Albert Hall.
Composed and recorded at Arnalds’ newly designed studio nestled near the ocean in downtown Reykjavik, “Back To The Sky” features emotive violin and a beat that softly ricochets. The track highlights the intimate voice of multi-instrumentalist JFDR, a fellow Icelandic artist who Arnalds has long admired, known for both her solo work as well as her involvement with various groups such as Samaris and Pascal Pinon. “Then when stars align // some kind of peace // I could be loved by you // I know I’m loved by you // either way // where did you go // you’re going home”, she sings across the song’s gorgeous instrumentation.
“When Ólafur sent over the demo I could instantly hear and feel the melody,” says JFDR. “I was back in Reykjavík for a little while this winter and somehow ended up living on my own, the sky was dark all encompassing, I was quite lonely and staring into the sky was like I could speak to someone through the cosmos.”
The accompanying video for “Back To The Sky”, directed by Árni & Kinski and shot in rural Iceland, is striking and champions the track’s stark beauty. Awash in muted colors, the visual depicts two people walking alone near a dreary coastline, signaling the mourning of an unfinished relationship.
Since he launched his career writing neoclassical compositions for a German metal band, and later supporting fellow Icelandic act Sigur Rós, Arnalds has forged an oeuvre full of impressive innovations, dominating both the electronic and modern-classical worlds thanks to his masterful blending of symphonic strings and piano with subtle electronica. In addition to his own solo works, Arnalds also releases music in the experimental techno duo Kiasmos and has collaborated extensively with German pianist/composer Nils Frahm on improvised performances and recordings. His score for the ITV series Broadchurch earned him the 2014 BAFTA TV Craft Award for Best Original Music and just last month received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music for the theme to the Apple TV+ series Defending Jacob (2020).
Expect more news from Arnalds in the coming weeks.
Watch video for “Back To The Sky” (Feat. JFDR) –