Soundspell – An Ode to the Umbrella

This release is part of the Veneto West – Storia series. 100% of net proceeds from sales of Veneto West – Storia releases support The Cancer Support Community of Los Angeles.

Soundspell grew out of the vibrant Reykjavik, Iceland music scene and combined the experimental atmosphere of fellow Icelanders Sigur Rós with the eclecticism of Radiohead and melodic pop of British bands like Keane. In 2007 they teamed up with Icelandic producer Albert Asvaldsson and American producer, Ronan Chris Murphy, to create the stunning “An Ode to the Umbrella” album.

I was thrilled when I was invited to work on this album with my old friend Albert Asvalsson, who I had previously worked with in Iceland. The young band continued to blow me away. The struggle within the band of pop sensibilities and avant-garde experimentation found a perfect balance in the music.  The artistic maturity of the band made me forget how young they were. 

The album garnered a small but passionate following around the world, but one of the things that made the band’s story so interesting was the cause its demise. “An Ode to the Umbrella” is a rich, complex and mature work of art… created by young kids. At the time of recording the oldest member of the band was 17. The rest were 15 and 16. The collection of artistic maturity and youthful energy created a fantastic work of art, but like so many things with teenagers, it fell apart before it had time to develop commercially.
Soundspell’s “An Ode to the Umbrella” captures the work of a confluence of creative people, in a specific place, at a specific time. Although the album did not receive the commercial recognition it deserved (outside of briefly charting on the Icelandic charts), it is a work of art that stands the test of time. Veneto West Records is happy to help make it more widely available through this reissue.