Thin Jim & the Castaways

Thin Jim & the Castaways: Toll Keeper

$13.92 $16.98

Artist: Thin Jim & the Castaways
Title: Toll Keeper
Product Type: COMPACT DISCS

Margret Eir, known for her work with the Icelandic duo MoR has joined an original pop group Thin Jim and the Castaways. Jökull Jörgensen (Bass), Margret Eir (Vocals), Birgir Jafsson (Guitar/Vocals). Thin Jim and the Castaways is a musical project where the song and the lyrics itself determines who will sing or play it, providing a vehicle for solo artists and session players who don't always have the opportunity to express themselves. On their new four song release The Toll Keeper, Margret's crystalline vocals and Birgir's distinctive baritone elevate the tunes written by Margret and founding member Jokull Jörgensen, into a really interesting boy / girl ensemble vibe, melodic and rooted in the country folk rock of the early 70's. Unlike Sigor Ros or Bjork, two Icelandic groups that love ethereal textures and electronic ambience, The Castaways channel an acoustic Americana vibe, reverbs created in natural spaces and orchestration like pedal steel, accordion and mandolin that would fit more easily in a late 60's recording by Grahm Parsons Emmylou Harris or The Band than what you might expect from an Icelandic group at the start of the 21st century's second decade. This is a relaxed and confident vocal conversation supported by some fine session players. Birgir's vocals which recall the archetypal loner (Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, Leonard Cohen, Neil Diamond) along with Margret Eir and The Castaways enter this conversation from Iceland continuing a pop symposium started years ago in America and later Brittan . The story begins with Old Union Station: a remembrance of past love and coming to terms with the passage of time. There is a river of traditional musical influences, flowing with natural ease back into the unique vocal textures, punctuated by skillfully placed harmonies at the ends of phrases. In The Toll Keeper, Margret moves from vulnerable innuendo to virtuosic melismatic runs --- from whispers to growls all with her characteristic bell like intonation and bright spirit - the bass guitar lines contrast nicely - as does the swinging trumpet - nice half valved tones and classic amped guitar lines guide the ensemble through the camp / fantasy swing with a crafted vintage noir light and a wink. Secret Lake takes us back to the gospels of The Band, the traditional river hymns anchored by a soulful vocal chorus (recorded live in a cave underneath the glacier Snaefellsjokull) with Birgir and Margret warmly shining through in their unique re-incarnation of the classic male/female pop group - from Mama's and the Papa's, Richard and Linda Thompson or the Velvet's with Nico, Thin Jim and the Castaways huddle together to claim their place in this lineage. Green Walls of Eden continues the story - Like the Italian "spaghetti" westerns that filtered and translated a part of our American past, Thin Jim - in a similar way - reinterprets the music from the same country gospels that inspired The Band, Gordon Lightfoot and even early Elton John ( the piano octaves in Green Walls are indeed reminiscent of Elton John's Burn Down The Mission.) The triumphant major chord and the natural earthy colors created by the groups vocals and textural sensibility lift The Toll Keeper into position to re-set expectations as to how artists anywhere in the world can keep the home fires burning.

Tracks:
1.1 Old Union Station
1.2 The Tollkeeper
1.3 Secret Lake
1.4 Green Walls of Eden

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