JFDR
New Dreams


4.5
superb

Review

by Mathias CONTRIBUTOR (42 Reviews)
March 17th, 2020 | 58 replies


Release Date: 03/13/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An intentionally subdued masterpiece.

JFDR’s sophomore album New Dreams is an album built on the most solid of foundations, but adds to the structural integrity of that foundation with incredibly intentional flourishes. A first cursory listen reveals a subdued, well-composed, immersive folk-leaning experience, heavy on piano and whispered vocals. It’s the type of album that is served well through sensory deprivation. Put in your headphones, turn out the lights, and just listen. And then continue to listen and notice each of the details you didn’t notice before. The electronic influences that are ever-present beneath the surface and have an obvious shared influence with fellow Icelander Bjork. JFDR’s creative brandishings rarely break through the surface though, making them all the more special when they do. “Juno” builds to a crescendoed climax that, comparative to some of JFDR’s other raucous contemporaries, is not much of a crescendo nor a climax, but hits all the harder in the context of an album that is intentional in every step. Every song shines because they are a cohesive whole, with details that pop out and don’t take the spotlight, but more a slight increase of a dimmer effect, and then fade to the background as quickly as they appeared. “My Work” is a perfect example of intentional, controlled chaos that needs intent focus to notice, as each individual piece melts together seamlessly.

The hushed, breathy, nearly whispered vocals, are also a trait shared by many of JFDR’s contemporaries, but with JFDR there is still a forcefulness and commanding presence that feels as though it should be beyond Jófr*ður Ákadóttir’s twenty-five years, a presence that grabs the listener and does not loosen that vice grip. Both the sound and lyrics convey a balance between vulnerability and confidence, a tightrope walk that is never perfectly balanced. She picks the perfect times to add a quiver here, a sense of vibrato there, layered vocals, harsh r’s, a second of falsetto, and many other nuances that mean the vocals never lull the listener, but instead envelope them, welcoming them into an atmosphere that is equally warm and cold. She has a knack for a melody as well. While there are not many traditional choruses to find, the vocal lines are enticing and unique, often asynchronistic, but never inaccessible. Opener “Care For You” and “Falls (No Wonder)” are the clearest indicator of this talent. The wonder of New Dreams is its ability to trick us into thinking it’s a simple album, while really every single piece has been so clearly, beautifully, and perfectly orchestrated and executed.




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Comments:Add a Comment 
dmathias52
Contributing Reviewer
March 17th 2020


1364 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I had two things I wanted to try with my next reviews - Something that's less a three or a less and a shorter review. This has absolutely captivated me (thanks for the rec Pots) so I tried for a shorter review. Now to write a not glowing review for something!

AOTY for me so far.

I was supposed to be in DC for two weeks and Nashville for two weeks, all with a backdrop of school and the political campaign I was working on. Thought that would mean an extended hiatus from this site, but with the world conditions around us, now I expect to be here a whooole lot

Digging: Ismay - Songs of Sonoma Mountain

Atari
Staff Reviewer
March 17th 2020


25835 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

sounds like we’re going to benefit from that ;)



very nice review. I also snagged this when Potsy mentioned it on your list and it’s sooo nice. The opener is an early favorite

Digging: Paysage d'Hiver - Im Wald

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
March 17th 2020


12706 Comments


I think some of the guys were hyping this yesterday. still doesn't look like my thing though.

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
March 17th 2020


20382 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice! Yeah I was thinking of writing this up too, but I was doubting between this and Hilary Woods, so it looks like I'll be doing the latter.



Gonna read the rev now, album's pure bliss.

Digging: Spiritual Beggars - Ad Astra

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
March 17th 2020


20382 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well deserved feature!

bloc
March 17th 2020


61866 Comments


Thought that was Chuck Schuldiner on the cover for a sec lol

Digging: Fluke - Puppy

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
March 17th 2020


20382 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Goddamn bloc, get some new glasses bruh

Atari
Staff Reviewer
March 17th 2020


25835 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

lmao



honesty I think the cover is a bit misleading on this one. expected some gothic folk similar to Chelsea Wolfe but this makes me feel warmer inside than anything like that

Pangea
March 17th 2020


4345 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

nice review. this is great

Digging: Paysage d'Hiver - Im Wald

dmathias52
Contributing Reviewer
March 17th 2020


1364 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Just realized that the bugs really don't like her full name lol

Thanks for the kind words y'all! Totally agree about this giving a much different vibe than expected. Was expecting more gothic, not that at all

JesperL
March 17th 2020


977 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

nice review, opening tracks are lovely

Digging: As Real - Marvelless

anatelier
March 17th 2020


3534 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great album nice review thanks

Digging: Pottery - Welcome to Bobby's Motel

Aberf
March 17th 2020


3215 Comments


Would this fit my list of Electro pop with femme vox?

Lord(e)Po)))ts
March 17th 2020


56276 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I think the cover suits perfectly but the colours remind me of ruinism which she is on so that's part of it



About once a year something I rec gets some traction on here so thanks to you all for listening to this, makes me very happy

Digging: Dalai Lama - Inner World

CaptWaffles
March 17th 2020


215 Comments


Wow, this is gorgeous. Hadn't heard of her, thanks for writing this

DoofDoof
March 18th 2020


8373 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Some of the best Bon Iver songs in years on this



‘My Work’ is stunning

Lord(e)Po)))ts
March 18th 2020


56276 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Why do you say such dumb shit

DoofDoof
March 18th 2020


8373 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I wasn't expecting this to be such a folk album honestly



I knew little going in, but at least three or four songs really reminded me of how Justin Vernon would construct a similar composition :/

DoofDoof
March 18th 2020


8373 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've read people compare this to Bjork cos female and cos Iceland and cos arty



Doesn't sound anything like Bjork to me - it reminds me of Bon Iver in places, sue me

Lord(e)Po)))ts
March 18th 2020


56276 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

If you could sue someone for making preposterous comparisons then I certainly would



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