Olafur Arnalds, …and they have escaped the weight of darkness
If you have a rainy window to stare at longingly anytime soon, this is your soundtrack
Olafur Arnalds' forlorn little piano-and-strings sketches don't insist upon themselves much. A few glowing, pearly minor chords, soft-pedaled for maximum melancholy; a modest swell of warmth in the strings, and then a softly dying fadeout — and that's pretty much it. A few times, drums nudge their way into the picture, but they don't keep time so much as politely suggest it. The sound level never rises above a murmur.
All of this would scan as tepid Muzak if it wasn't so piercingly sad. The little bits and scraps of melody that Arnalds composes hit on muddling pathos of the everyday with surprising accuracy. It might be the soundtrack for a French film about the drizzly ennui of existence (in other words, any French film) or the music for an exceedingly tasteful daytime soap. Leave it on in the background, and it doesn't so much recede into the background as sink into your bones; you'll grow pensive even if you're not sure why. If you have a rainy window to stare at longingly anytime soon, this is your soundtrack.