out take of the forthcoming "Don't Ever Listen EP"
Since initiating her solo career in 2010 with the EP Theater Island, Soley Stefansdottir has proven to be relentless in terms of both versatility and productivity. Her third EP Don't Ever Listen shortly follows her sophomore album Ask The Deep, released through Morr Music in the spring of 2015. Don't Ever Listen collects five intimate pieces that were originally recorded as demos for Ask The Deep, but dismissed by Soley because she wanted the album to feature fewer guitar sounds. As with her two EPs before -- in 2014 she had re-released Kromantik, a collection of piano instrumentals -- Soley takes the format as an opportunity to explore new sides to her unique talents.
The songs on Don't Ever Listen have been either recorded on the Irish island Inis Oirr or in Soley's home in Iceland during the year 2012. Having just moved houses, she needed to opt for a more provisional solution as her studio hadn't been fully set up. This allowed for a more lo-fi, undoubtedly charming atmosphere and even gave Soley's feline flatmate Toa a place in the spotlight: As the only guest on the EP, it contributed a few well-pitched meows to the EP's title track. While the dense piano ballad "I Will Find You" clearly evokes the aesthetics of Ask The Deep and "N.Y. Hotel" -- the first cover Soley has ever recorded -- carefully re-interprets The Knife's brittle original, the three other pieces on Don't Ever Listen rely heavily on minimalistic guitar melodies.
Having always been turning her shortcomings into qualities -- Soley's choice to not sing in her native language grants her more artistic freedom and generates meaning through happy accidents -- the Icelandic songwriter takes the chance to devote herself to an instrument she admits she has not fully mastered yet. The result however is far from modest. The instrumental minimalism leaves more room for Soley's voice, which is often multiplied and manipulated in perfect symbiosis to her lyrics which revolve around themes of longing, fear and of course the occasional ghost.
Considering her unmatched productivity, it comes as no surprise that Soley is also planning two other EPs focusing on other instruments -- accordion and organ respectively -- which will form a trilogy with Kromantik.