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Arctic
I'm Kingfisher Arctic
Released 10 October 2011
Producer Carl Edlom
Label Playground Music
Length 34:21
Genre Indie, folk
Website imkingfisher.com
53

After a promising start with the 'Willing Night Plants' reminiscent Chris Isaak crooning, Swedish born Thomas Denver Jonsson's I’m Kingfisher project Artic falls somewhat flat. The first in a planned trilogy of concept albums, pairing Americana with a mournful take on bluegrass and folk, Artic runs the gamut of experience in sombre themes of isolation, love lost and exploring vast emotional expanses.

Musically interesting but increasingly lyrically muddied the evocatively titled songs lose meaning following the journeys of famous Swedish explorer Fridjof Nanse (who demurring to read an autobiography for context I have little clue about). While tracks like 'Deer Theatre' are backed and packed with bare guitar ensorcelled with solitudinous violin and mournful brass sections, the often delicate arrangements while both sumptuous and intriguing have a vocal timbre that's quavering and off-puttingly nasal leaving me to wonder where the pleasant tone of the album's beginning disappears to in all but the seventh track 'Smile with your 1,000 Teeth'. To give an album that I most likely won't be revisiting a brief reprieve 'Artic Fox Too Majestic for the Tundra' provides a bluegrass lite welcomely voiceless jaunt and end track 'The Whale Hunt' has an accompanying nicely downbeat sonorous electronic wave.

Usually a fan of this kind of singer songwriter new folk, Artic brings nothing particularly new to the table and while not cliché doesn't spectacularly spring forth from a genre that already has so many talented apostles. Leaving Artic as a largely nonplussed listener, I feel quite cruel, a detractor to an earnest album but while some albums are termed growers, I'm afraid I'm Kingfisher's Artic appears to be a fade away, lost, snowblind and without a compass.

- Cormac O’Brien