It would be accurate to say that I was a little shocked by Without Gravity's debut release Tenderfoot. Call it what you will, but when I think of Icelandic music, my mind anticipates the ethereal qualities of artists such as Bjork and Sigur Ros. Although the Icelandic ambience is still there (to a certain degree), it is held in check by a much different feel. From the sound of the delicately picked acoustic guitars, this trio could comfortably share a concert billing with American folksy bands such as Iron and Wine or Sufjan Stevens.
Without Gravity grabs your attention from the first track, "Beautiful Son", as does the heavenly voice of lead singer Kalli. Although Kalli is most notably compared to Thom Yorke and Jeff Buckley, his vocals are also reminiscent of Sam Beam (Iron & Wine) with a touch of Dave Matthews.
There are individual tracks to highlight, most notably the infectiously catchy guitar work in "Moving on Backwards" and the soul-bearing closer "Been Let Down", but perhaps the greatest strength of this album is its collective synergy. One good song flows to another, and before you know it, you've finished listening to a great forty-six minute album.
Although it might be nit-picking, this album isn't perfect. As good as the album is overall, it isn't anything new. In addition, there isn't one track that really stands out as a single. With that being said, I don't really care. The collective work of
Tenderfoot is beautiful, seamlessly flowing from beginning to end. If you're looking for a mellow fix, check out this release…you won't be disappointed.