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Seabear Sings a Twisted Icelandic Lullaby

On "I Sing I Swim," Seabear brings the acts of Mother Nature into the realm of personal pain.
On "I Sing I Swim," Seabear brings the acts of Mother Nature into the realm of personal pain.

For as small and remote as it is, Iceland has produced a surprising number of big names in music. Bjork and Sigur Ros serve as its best-known exports, but Seabear seems fated to find itself on that list. A solo project by Sindri Már Sigfússon that has grown to as many as seven members, Seabear plays shadowy, folk-infused ballads of love, loss and memory, all the while gently reminding its audience that life, while many things, is not but a dream.

The mournful "I Sing I Swim," from the recent album The Ghost That Carried Us Away, searches for man's place in the natural world, bringing the acts of Mother Nature into the realm of personal pain: "And I miss you, even when you're around / I'm a black cloud, sending lightning to the ground."

Water flows everywhere on "I Sing I Swim," both as a cleansing power and as an unattainable force. "Wash your hands in the lake," Sigfússon sings, lamenting, "Human skin can be hard to live in." From the hushed piano and Sigfússon's wistful voice emerges a twisted lullaby — "Throw me a dream please / It's been a dreamless sleep" — and a misty vision of things gained and lost.

Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Afton Woodward