In certain seasons, time can depart from the static drone of minutes and hours and days and months, and settle into a less mechanical rhythm. It is replaced by something more organic -- a fluctuating heartbeat, both resting and racing. This transition happens without notice as slowly the external becomes the internal. In more linear terms, the new decade will mark a new addition to the Spartan Records roster — Iceland’s VAR, a melodic indie rock quartet. Building upon four years of performance and experimentation within their home country, VAR has honed their devastatingly beautiful sound into something more refined and explosive on their debut LP The Never-Ending Year. Think Sigur Ros with more urgency, We Were Promised Jetpacks with more intricacy, and Frightened Rabbit with more grit.
"The meaning of the name VAR comes from ships entering into the harbor to seek shelter from bad weather out at sea,” says Júlíus Óttar. "The band practices in an old fish plant by the shore in a small fishing village on the south coast. The power and the noise of the ocean is bound to influence you.” As it turns out, the ocean is the perfect sonic metaphor for the dynamics of The Never-Ending Year. Over the course of the record, beautiful lush and layered moments are rattled by frenetic eruptions and soaring punctuations. The Never-Ending Year is a challenging listen that requires both patience and space as it builds and settles, but the crescendoing peaks and brooding descents perfectly articulate a story of the natural world’s seeping influence.
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