Due for digital release May 16 and physical release this September, ATLAS is the first album by Icelandic singer-songwriter Marteinn Sindri.
Originally a pianist, Marteinn engaged with the guitar as he started to sing his own music. During the making of the album however, a lot of the music, located somewhere between folk, alternative and pop, found its way back to the piano. Marteinn has performed widely in preparation for the album, both alone and in good company. He has given concerts at the miXmass festival in Antwerpen, Melodica Festival in Paris and Reykjavík, Vicenza Poetry Festival, Innipúkinn, Reykjavík Folk Festival and LungA to name a few.
Four years in the making, ATLAS is a sonic assemblage anchored by compositions that are at their heart minimal and impressionistic, conjuring fleeting images of natural and emotional landscapes wrought with myth and poetry. The lyrics of the album are often concerned with strange places – imaginary or real – and the alien experiences of reaching adulthood and coming of age. Floating icebergs collide with black holes in a cosmic narrative caught up in the incessant transformations inherent to nature, where time departs from time. The album’s soundscapes are inspired by the project of mapping and encompassing the whole world – a controversial endeavour as betrayed by the title. While an Atlas might be a map of the world, it is also the name of a lone mythical figure fated to carry the world upon its shoulders – an impossible achievement.
The album is the result of careful and close collaborations. Daníel Friðrik Böðvarsson who produces the album has nurtured the whole process in studios in Reykjavík and Berlin. Albert Finnbogason undertook the engineering and mixing of the album as well as contributing to its production while Bergur Þórisson gave precious time and energy to the original tracking of demos. All three contributed as musicians as well, together with a powerhouse of local and international artists; drummer Magnús Trygvason Eliassen, multi-instrumentalists ÓBÓ (Ólafur Björn Ólafsson) and Shahzad Ismaily, double bassist Óttar Sæmundsen, cellist Gyda Valtysdottir and singers Jelena Ćirić, Arna Margrét Jónsdóttir, Katrin Helena Jonsdottir, and Örn Ýmir Arason. Sarah Register mastered the album. The musical arrangements, elaborated together with these artists, expand the album’s narrative worlds, cycling through alternative genres, converging in a montage that veers between the romantic and the gothic
The album artwork by Ólafur Þór Kristinsson and Katrin Helena Jonsdottir brings out the controversy of the album’s title, challenging mythological aesthetics with mathematical exactness. Furthermore, Blair Alexander Massie has produced live videos in relation to the album’s release.
The album was supported by RANNÍS Music Recording Fund and STEF Recording Fund.