Ari – Radikoj

Radikoj is the second album of a planned trilogy from Icelandic artist Ari that packs substance and sound into 10 cohesive tracks.

Taking its name from the Esperanto word for “roots,” the work’s metaphor plays out on multiple levels. Co-produced by Halldór Á. Björnsson and mastered by Leigh Lawson, it’s all at once a step back to an organic, rootsy sound, a distinct conceptual step forward from previous album Fræ (Icelandic for “seeds”), and a rich place to grow toward the impending third album.

It’s also intricately composed, hauntingly delivered, and beautiful to listen to.

Don’t let the depth of the work prejudice your pop sensibilities – this isn’t stodgy, self-serious music that sacrifices sound for substance. Actually, it’s the opposite. Fræ was called “sleek, tuneful, atmospheric electro-pop music” (super world indie tunes) and featured “big melodies and catchy chorus(es) and… impressively considered lyrics too” (Nordic Music Review). While Radikoj features less electronic instrumentation, it still showcases melodies that shimmer and hooks that easily catch ears.