Benni Hemm Hemm
Kajak the sophomore long-player from namesake/frontman Benedikt H. Hermannsson's Icelandic easy-listening band may not be the textbook definition of a guilty indie pleasure, but it's close. The lyrics aren't in English; the cover art looks like it was designed by your 3-year old nephew; the musicianship's a smidge too solid; there's no discernable edge, agenda, or strident non-agenda to speak of. Benni Hemm Hemm revels in the grand gesture, the sunrise-o'er-the-hill majesty, the rolling, orchestral swell that's in danger of actually moving you (and Grandma) emotionally. It's almost a matter of crackerjack pop cinematography: knowing when, say, to cut away from the Stereolab charm-offensive axmanship and drop in a doe-eyed xylophone solo or to smooth out swollen clumps of dazzling, heartstring-tugging brass. Kajak's restlessly rousing first half gives way to raggedy bashful balladry on par with that of Japanese soft-psych duo Nagisa Ni Te, as Hermannsson's animated-yet-neutral voice turns inward, almost wistfully. Bonus: Unlike your noise and coke-rap CDs, there's no need for a conditional listening appreciation lesson for baffled carpool mates or elders; Benni Hemm Hemm's boundless exuberance sells itself.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.
More Music News
- Cave Creek's Legendary Buffalo Chip Saloon Destroyed by "Suspicious" Fire
Fri., Dec. 4, 7:30pm
Fri., Dec. 4, 8:00pm
Sat., Dec. 5, 8:00pm
Sun., Dec. 6, 3:00pm
- 16 Places to Drink on Thanksgiving in Phoenix
- Heritage Hump Day: Otto D - "Why Should I Care"