The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC REVIEWS -

ASGEIR Af­ter­glow ★★★ One Lit­tle In­dian

Javelin throw­ing’s loss has turned out to be mu­sic’s gain in the case of the Ice­landic singer Ás­geir Trausti Ei­nars­son. The dude from Lau­gar­bakki’s debut record, Dýrð í dauðaþögn (re­leased in English as

In the Si­lence), re­mains the coun­try’s big­gest-sell­ing al­bum and led to his in­ter­na­tional break­through. What’s no­tice­able on his new al­bum is Ei­nars­son’s smooth tran­si­tion from the gui­tar to the lap­top as his source of mu­si­cal em­bel­lish­ment. His rich, beau­ti­ful falsetto re­mains, but it’s now am­pli­fied by a layer of spooked, haunt­ing and wonky elec­tronic ci­phers and ef­fects. As with Bon Iver and James Blake, it’s a match that pro­duces com­pelling songs, such as Here Comes the Wave In, I Know You Know and Un­bound. In­jury may have forced Ás­geir to give up his dreams of be­ing a javelin cham­pion, but few who’ll be drawn to this al­bum will com­plain. as­geir­mu­sic.com JIM CAR­ROLL

SHIPS Pre­ces­sion ★★★★ Self-Re­leased/Ships Mu­sic

Dublin-based Ships (Sorca McGrath and Si­mon Cullen) have been care­fully nur­tur­ing their songs for close to five years, and while McGrath has spent some time per­form­ing with other mu­si­cians (notably Swedish/Ir­ish band Bad­lands), the time has fi­nally ar­rived for Ships to, well, set sail. Fur­ther ex­tend­ing the nau­ti­cal analo­gies, there are no rough swells here, but rather gen­tle, re­flec­tive propul­sive shifts in tone and rhythm that ably ref­er­ence the duo’s mu­tual re­gard for 1980s’ key­board pop and ex­pres­sion of per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence. Songs such as Round and Round, An­other Way, Around this World, None of it Real and All will Be are each con­fig­ured to set scenes ac­cord­ing to moods. Sim­ply put, it’s supremely ac­com­plished, in­tel­li­gent mu­sic from per­cep­tive prac­ti­tion­ers. Not much more to say, other than this: all aboard. band­camp.com/mu­sic TONY CLAY­TON-LEA

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