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Away From This Dream is a blissful extension to Axel Flóvent’s sonic palette

"Away From This Dream"

Release date: 07 June 2024
Axel Flovent Away From This Dream cover
07 June 2024, 17:00 Written by Emily Savage

With the recent addition of his beloved Roland June-60 keyboard, Icelandic singer-songwriter Axel Flóvent dabbles in hypnotic synth-pop on his latest album, Away From This Dream.

Hailing from the small fishing village of Húsavík, Flóvent channels the tranquillity of Iceland’s surroundings through his thought-provoking pop tunes. Since debuting almost a decade ago, the multi-instrumentalist has narrated various stages of his life through music. Now entering a new chapter, his sophomore album continues to embrace personal growth, as he taps into new facets of his artistry.

Written over the past year, the 10-track record sees Flóvent captivatingly muse over his memories and experiences. “Keeping up with your heart / The tied up indecision I must follow,” he pensively poses in the opening line of “Moonlight”. Reined by evocative metaphors and articulate storytelling, the project showcases the compelling songwriting that has become a guiding thread throughout the burgeoning artist’s discography.

From the carefree spontaneity of “Have This Dance” to the mental turmoil of co-dependency on "Wash It Away”, the record captures the complex array of emotions surrounding love, loss, and everything in between. Placed against vibrant displays of twinkling piano melodies and grooving guitars, these tracks find Flóvent where he excels most: pairing introspective, thoughtful lyricism with glistening backdrops.

Where the record deviates from previous work is in its sonic exploration. Integrating experimental electronic elements – courtesy of the singer’s recently acquired synthesiser – it adds yet another dimension to his sonic palette. While much of Flóvent’s sound has heavily relied on the acoustic guitar, the addition of synth-laden production provides another layer of instrumental depth. Drawing influence from retro ‘80s pop, “Chasing The Night” sees metallic synths and gently strummed chords combine to create a dazzling eclectic collage.

It's equally the moments of soft vulnerability, where production is minimal, that create impact. While “This Feeling” and “Asymmetry” are musically and lyrically less complex than other offerings on the record, they allow for Flóvent’s vocals to shine through. Drenched in emotion, each line hits with unparalleled honesty as he candidly navigates feelings of insecurity and doubt. “I can’t let you in on my thoughts / Because I change my heart too often,” diaristic lyricism lays out, with his voice gliding above lilting guitar lines and ruminating tones.

Bringing the record to a close, the title track sees the multi-hyphenate fuse together old and new aspects of his sound. What begins as a sombre, piano-led ballad builds into a natural crescendo of crashing drums, gliding synths, and soaring vocals. Reaffirming Flóvent’s artistic progression, it’s a moving finale to the body of work and a showpiece of his musical prowess.

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