Those of us new to this “50-piece ensemble that doesn’t exist” have some catching up to do. The U.K. act made its debut in mid-2017 with the well-received debut Happy Birthday.
One of the band members put it this way: “It was our attempt to write songs for people across the world to stumble across on their birthdays – instead of a dreary midi track!” That turned out to be a pretty good idea. The album, released on June 17, 2017 “because Happy Birthday, Iceland,” has earned more than half a million Spotify streams.
Since it was re-released one year later by Piano and Coffee Records, an additional five albums have been added to the catalogue. Pangur Din, their most recent, is masterfully unassuming. Combining new-classical chamber music with elements of ambient and found sounds, solo acoustic guitar and a single lo-fi vocal track, this nine-song release is an inspired effort.
Its title is a reference to “Pangur Bán,” an Irish poem written by an anonymous monk in the ninth century. The subject is his cat and its hunting methods, which the poet compares to his never-ending commitment to education.
There is a slight bookishness about Plïnkï Plønkï music. Not that it is packed with shout-outs. Instead, it is music ideally suited for reading with. Gentle, spacious and informed by a world of creative references.
The album’s release date – this Friday – coincides with the European Day of Languages. Two singles, “Reul” and “Càirdeas,” come with B-sides not available on the album.