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Album Review: Segl (September 18, 2020) – Eivør 

By Evan Cardinal, Albright '21

Album Review: Segl (September 18, 2020) – Eivør 

The Context – Perhaps not the most recognizable Nordic territory, the Faroe Islands are a tiny archipelago located halfway between Norway and Iceland. The autonomous territory apart of the Kingdom of Demark is perhaps most famous for its rugged subpolar climate and boasting the most Nobel laureates per capita worldwide, yet the Faroe Islands are also home to the multi-faceted musician and vocalist Eivør Pálsdóttir. Since the age of 13, Eivør has been a genre polyglot experimenting in jazz, classical, folk, chamber pop, electronic, and traditional Nordic melodic sounds.

Initially a cult-favorite in the northern European music scene, Eivør reached international popularity in 2015 with her contributions to the soundtrack of the BBC original The Last Kingdom. Her versatile vocals lent to more prominent features in television programs (Homeland and Game of Thrones) and video games (God of War and Metal Gear Survive). Eivør’s latest record Segl is her ninth full-length LP, yet it is only the second English-predominant release to 2017’s Anglicized re-issue of 2015’s Slør.

The Content – Co-produced by Lana Del Rey collaborator Dan Heath, Segl contains the dark undertones of a prototypical Lana record but with the sharp Euro-pop sound that Eivør provides. The opening track “Mánasegl,” sung in Icelandic, begins with an electronica vocal reverberation akin to Imogen Heap that then grows into a haunting ambience. Eivør then transitions into the more impassioned “Let It Come,” where the thumping, yet dimming beat ebbs and flows with the dynamic belting and whispering of the Faroese musician. A noticeable shift in tone is heard in the third track, “Sleep on It.” The humming and the jumpiness of the production is lighter in tone than the previous tracks as is Eivør’s vocals that build up an energy that ultimately leads to nothing. The piano-heavy ballad “Hands” then returns to the more somber mood of Segl.

But it is the Euro-pop banger “Nothing to Fear” that departs from the aforementioned tonality of the record. As Eivør insists that “we have nothing to fear,” the listener has little to fear that this pop song’s strong production and vocals to match may contend for a Eurovision spot in 2021. Eivør follows the astute performance of “Nothing to Fear” with the slow burning “Truth” and another, more upbeat selection in “Skyscrapers.” A passionate duet with Icelandic singer/songwriter Asgeir comes before what is the ominous, confident, and heavy-hitting “This City.” Once again, the Faroese artists takes a proverbial chill pill with “Patience.” Eivør finishes out her ninth record with two Nordic tongued tracks in an industrious duet with Norwegian black metal drummer Einar Selvik entitled “Stirdur Saknur” and the melodic Swedish closer “Gullspunnin.”

The Skinny – Eivør certainly demonstrates why she is a force in the Euro-pop scene on Segl. Her unique styling and vocal repertoire to match formulate this almost angelic versus demonic struggle that plays its way throughout the album. With the exception of “Nothing to Fear” and “This City,” I do not Segl infiltrating the European charts as the likes of Iceland’s Björk or Greece’s Eleni Foureira . In its totality, however, Segl is worth the listen for Eivør’s empowering avant-pop delivery

The Rating – 6.3/10


  1. Mánasegl
  2. Let It Come
  3. Sleep on It
  4. Hands
  5. Nothing to Fear
  6. Truth
  7. Skyscrapers
  8. Only Love (feat. Asgeir)
  9. This City
  10. Patience
  11. Stirdur Saknur (feat. Einar Selvik)
  12. Gullspunnin