You know occasionally you stumble across something that so inhabits its own time and space it seems completely rootless even if you can see where the influences come from? Einar Stray is a young Norwegian, also a member of Moddi, who over the eight minutes of the title track from his debut solo album (out February 7th) lays out a sonic spectrum that takes its lead from the icy soundscapes of a Sigur Ros, lays on sobbing strings not far from Owen Pallett under a series of steadily intensifying crashing waves that break into ripples of beatific beauty. There's plenty of instrumentation, from subtle horns to clattering drums sounding like they're pawing at the steel bars of a cage, but it never overwhelms, taking its time to layer everything into drifting passages before exploding into action painting fireworks. Imagine if the album was all this good.
Einar Stray - Chiaroscuro by spoontrain