Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Outsideleft: Binka, New Queen of Iceland

Would be a Start
(Kitchen Motors)

When one thinks of Iceland, one most assuredly conjures up images of the island's techno influenced ambassador Björk but for the first time in the 20 years, someone else has a shot at being the new Viking sweetheart. Binka (full name Binka Helmutsdottir) rose out of Reykjavik's critically overlooked avant-folk scene, armed with a girlhood spent listening to Joni Mitchell records and learning guitar, plunking out her own interpretation of Mitchell's already idiosyncratic style. Fans of Joanna Newsom will see some similarities in her elfin warble, those hip to Juana Molina will likely lock onto her melancholy sensuality, but Binka has a lean all her own.

Would be a Start
, her third LP but the first in the US, finds her style stripped down to the bone, thankfully leaving the subtle electronic textures from her previous efforts behind. The records almost sounds like it was recorded on those rainy train tracks she walks on the cover, with footsteps crunching the gravel serving as organic percussion for tracks like "Goat Girl", and banging on a metal barrel being her only accompaniment on the spectral "Brandari er á þú" sung in her native tongue. Binka may not have the celebrity acumen of Björk, but her songs will make you forget all about that swan dress and all that screeching.

OK, just foolin'. This album was actually generated from this meme posted on Brainiac . Psyched your mind!

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