FM Belfast -- Brighter Days [World Champion Records / Record Records (is)]
Released: 25 April, 2014
With a burst of bright light, sound and general good vibes, acclaimed Icelandic outfit FM Belfast are back with exhilarating third album 'Brighter days'.
"We are happy to announce our third full length titled 'Brighter Days'. We hope it will brighten up your days and adds colour to whatever you are doing". -- FM Belfast
The electro-indie-pop band has been bringing smiles to faces and brightening our days since 2008's debut album 'How To Make Friends', followed by the lauded follow up 'Don't Want to Sleep' in 2011.
What started as a simple project to gift friends a piece of music for Christmas by founding members Lóa and Árni, transported the band to the lofty stages of Roskilde and New York's legendary Webster Hall, receiving plaudits from NME, Clash, Q and Rolling Stone USA.
Their audience may have changed, yet FM Belfast haven't and remain humble and steadfastly committed to creating uplifting music created with the aim of spreading positive vibes and good times... a little escape from every day life if you will.
Produced in the band's 'rave cave' in Reykjavik, as well as on buses and at gas stations across Europe, 'Brighter Days' builds on the carefree, heady vibes of its predecessors across 10 glorious synth soaked offerings.
It's a grin-inducing trip from start to finish, the kind that liable to make you want to dance without warning, fist pump at your desk at work or just lose yourself in the pure unadulterated joy of music. Recent album single 'Everything' is a virtual call-to-arms, an anthem about letting go, Lóa's voice wills us to 'Leave everything at the door / Leave everyone at home / Empty your mind, empty your mind...', while 'Non Believer' is a delicious dancefloor thrasher injected with bucketloads of attitude that'll make you want to raise your fists skywards.
Elsewhere 'We Are Faster Than You' sees FM Belfast in full band mode, as trumpets, drums, undulating synth squiggles and quirky vocal harmonies combine for a joyful three-minute jam fest, before the lush slice of rave 'Gold' takes centre stage, sounding every bit like a future classic.
It's the kind of music that begs to be 'experienced' and thankfully FM Belfast are delivering with a tour throughout Europe beginning in May, whereby the core three Árni Rúnar Hlöðversson, Árni Vilhjálmsson and Lóa Hlín Hjálmtýsdóttir (who often wears a custom-made LED dress) will play with Örvar Smárason when he is not playing with his band múm. Expect a wide variety of percussionists to join in the fun as well, with past experiences telling us that the musicians on stage can swell to as many as 30!
But FM Belfast's music isn't just about them playing and us dancing. They want to involve us too. The band will be releasing one of their live performances as a kind of open source, allowing people the opportunity to re-arrange and literally play with their music. Says Arni: "I will be putting out a 5gb file containing all the audio material we use to build a live show for anyone to play with and hopefully learn to do it themselves."
Producer Árni has also built a custom made controller they have been using for their live shows and will be selling in the coming months. It's a DIY attitude that extends to album tracks 'Ariel' and 'DeLorean', that also feature a synthesizer Arni built at home.
So sing, dance and wear a smile on your face 'cos the kids at FM Belfast are back. And whether they get you via repeat listens of their addictive new album or making a mad rush to the dancefloor at one of their shows, the sweet escapism that music gifts us is in full force with the band's every beat.