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Out of Place - Ourlives
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RELEASE INFO

LABEL: Spartan Records
RELEASE DATE: Available Now
FORMATS: CD / Digital

BAND MEMBERS

Leifur Kristinsson: Guitar, Lead Vocals
Jón Björn Árnason: Bass, Piano, Keyboards
Hálfdán Árnason: Bass, Guitar
Garðar Borgþórsson: Drums

BIOGRAPHY

Ourlives are an explosive, emotive, expansive four-piece at the tipping point of their music recording lives, poised and ready -- a band clearly capable of injecting their own edge and making forward-looking, life-touching music. Hailing from Reykjavik, Iceland, their music is a dramatic hybrid of melodic progressive rock and powerful emotional pop. They are not a band afraid to play with the warmth of old-school guitars, the analogue dust of keyboards, the power of silence, or the strength that can be found in their harmonious vocals. Their songs are founded on soothing, soaring melodies, emotional choruses, and the idea that less is often so much more. The foursome fuses their ambitious ideas together to produce a sound that's as epic as their Icelandic landscape.

Since the band's formation in Reykjavik in 2005, Ourlives focused on recording as much music as possible in the quest to perfect their sound. With influences ranging from bands like Muse to Radiohead and Coldplay, the band continuously experiments with different sounds, and has refused to release an album until they are satisfied that it feels and sounds exactly the way they intend it to.

In 2008, they finally released the first single from what would become their Icelandic debut album, We Lost The Race. The track “Núna” (translates to “now”) was their first time working with one of Iceland’s most renown producers, Bardi Johannsson (Bang Gang). After recording “Núna”, the band knew they had finally found their sound. Their own weird mixture of pop and indie represented everything they wanted from their music -- with every flourish and movement orchestrated with celestial vision, and no minor detail overlooked. The single was widely successful in Iceland, and became the most-played song of the year on Iceland’s most popular alternative radio station, Xid97.7. The song was also featured in various promotional media spots on local TV and radio.

“Núna” caught the attention of Grammy award-winning producer David Bottrill, who brought them to Canada to record three more songs for the album. After a successful experience in Canada, the band became even more focused and driven, but quickly realized the only way they could finish the album in the way they envisioned was to have Bardi Johannsson produce and record the album in their homeland of Iceland. Bardi and the band started recording in Reykjavik right away. We Lost The Race followed and was released in Iceland in November of 2009.

Expectations were high for Ourlives' debut album after the success of “Núna”, and the full album was very well received by critics and music lovers alike. Iceland's largest newspaper, Fréttablaðið, gave the album a glowing review (4 out of 5 stars) and called it one of the best pop albums of the year. The second single from the album, Out of Place, was the band's biggest hit in Iceland to date. It reached number one on national radio and on most pop/rock radio stations.

With the release of the band's debut album behind them (as well as its subsequent follow up), the foursome now set their sights on the US. The band's debut US EP, Out of Place, is their introduction to the world outside of Iceland. Get ready for Ourlives to take you on a musical journey, with their dynamic song structures, big choruses, and the intense ambition and attitude -- to do the very best you can do, or don’t do it at all. Out of Place is available now on Seattle's Spartan Records.

Review

November 29th, 2011. By Ryan Gardener for absolutepunk.net

Not unlike Coldplay or Cary Brothers, Ourlives combine melodically intricate guitars with soft, high-pitched vocals in a ethereal fashion, creating a perfect soundtrack for this winter landscape. Coming from Iceland, Ourlives definitely bring something unique to the table with their debut EP, Out of Place. The soaring melodies crashing into the waves of harmoniously calming guitar play and soft drums create a backdrop of chilling beauty throughout these five songs.

The opening “Out of Place” will please any Coldplay fan, with Leifur Kristinsson’s vocals absolutely surrounding the daunting violin and emotive piano to create a breathtaking atmosphere. “Anything Can Happen Now” uses instrumentation in arguably the most effective way of any song on the EP, as Kristinsson’s enchanting vocals meld into the simplistic acoustic guitars. “Núna” has a slight Muse vibe to it, being one of the darkest moments on the EP due to the thick reverberating bass contrasting with the high-pitched vocals.

Clearly, Ourlives definitely bring something unique to the table – especially for only their first EP – making it seem very possible that the success of artists like Snow Patrol could be down the road for them as well. The layering and atmospheric nature of Out of Place really accent the beauty of Ourlives, as the vocals meld beautifully into the icy instruments throughout the EP. We’ll have to wait and see where Ourlives go with their full length next year, but at this rate, it’s safe to say it will be stunning.

8.5/10




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