Pascal Pinon’s name gives away nothing, not the location of the musicians (Iceland), or their sex (women) or the fact that there’s more than one of them (four). The lyrics are devoted to vagueness, as well. At least the English ones are, and I assume the Icelandic ones are too. There’s a reluctance to analyze emotions and motivations. “I feel like something I have felt before”, they sing. “I wrote a song … it’s just something I do”. The grass is generically “getting greener,” the sun is warm. Whimsy here functions as a kind of evasiveness. There’s a recorder, then the strum-strum of an artless guitar, then a glockenspiel. The ting-ting and tootle-too are satisfyingly neat, and as you listen to Pascal Pinon you realize that this artlessness is more mature than it wants to let on. It is complicated enough to be interesting, but not enough to sound confused or overworked.
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// Notes from the Road
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