My Icelandic Soundtrack: Rhye and Nosaj Thing

Rhye & Nosaj Thing

In order to get to Reykjavík I had to fly from Los Angeles to Seattle, then take an hour 8 flight from Seattle directly to Reykjavík. It’s not the most difficult flight but it’s certainly taxing. To prepare myself for this trip I made sure to sync some of my favorite new albums on Rdio so that I had some music to listen to, even if I didn’t have a phone signal. As it turns out though, I really only listened to two albums for the majority of my trip: Woman by Rhye, and Home by Nosaj Thing.

First up is Rhye, which is the combination of Candian musician/vocalist Mike Milosh and Danish producer Robin Hannibal. They initially paired up together in Copenhagen, then eventually both ended up in Los Angeles, deciding to continue on with their work as Rhye. Their first album, Woman, came out two weeks ago, and since then it’s been on repeat.

My favorite track off the album is easily “3 Days”, which is both beautiful and sexy all at once. It starts out with a sweeping harp, followed up by a steady beat and Milosh’s androgynous, Sade inflected voice crooning over the top of it. The vocals are a mix of sex and violence, with Milosh repeating “Stealing kisses in those misses within beats, Stealing kisses in those bloody sheets,, I’m killing you… I’m killing you.” To me the song speaks to those times when you have only a short amount of time to be with someone, so the love almost becomes carnal in nature.

The other thing I listened to constantly was Home, the new album from Nosaj Thing. Nosaj, born Jason Chung, is an L.A. based musician who’s approach to electronic music is something that I’m really into these days. Overall Home is deconstructed and minimal, fading in and out of murky sounds, crisp beats, and deep bass notes. But there are only two tracks on the album that feature structured vocals, the first featuring Kazu Makino from Blonde Redhead, which I wrote about last November. The other track features the always incredible Toro Y Moi on the song “Try”, which you can hear above.

The song slowly builds, filled with reverb and echoing. Then about halfway through the track Toro Y Moi appears, his voice smooth and subtle with a slight repeat over static effected ambience. And just as soon as he appears he’s gone. His appearance is subtle but in the makeup of the whole album it makes a lot of sense. In order to break up the heavy electronic synths and drums a human voice is needed.

I can’t recommend both of these albums enough. I think I listened to both of them at least 30 times in the last week. To me they’re basically flawless. Oddly enough they also happen to both be signed Innovative Lesiure records. Kyle says that he told me this fact but I somehow completely forgot. Good wok IL, keep signing more artists like these!

March 20, 2013 / By

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