The Icelandic band Stafrænn Hákon was born in 2001 as a lo-fi experimental project and has been steadily evolving ever since. Today its a full band which incidentally has released its 11th album titled Aftur. Aftur follows 2017's self-released instrumental album Hausi and two Darla released full length albums Eternal Horse and Sanitas.
After Stafrænn Hákon released its instrumental album Hausi in 2017, the band decided to delve into the melodic aspect of music, focusing on harmonized vocals and subtle, yet dynamic instrumentation.
The band´s trademark soundscape is clearly recognizable on Aftur with floaty electric guitars, voice, subtle atmospheres and acoustic textures such as harps and piano.
The album Aftur features 10 songs in total. The main vocalist in Stafrænn Hákon is, as before, the affable architect Magnús Freyr Gíslason. The Dutchman Minco Eggersman, a long time collaborator appears on one song and the Icelandic singer/songwriter Benni Hemm Hemm appears on one song as well.
Aftur can be described as a magical musical journey through Stafrænn Hákon´s subtle atmospheric world and melodic/ambient approach to rock and pop music.
"Maybe not as much crescendos and distortion blowout going on on this one BUT I believe there are some nice dynamics in the instrumental songs and some of the vocal songs like Bakki and Mýri... I wanted to express the smoothness behind the band with this record, meaning the sound not to be filled with too many explosive delayed/reverbed guitars, but more focus on melodies and some harmonies and play around with that. This is also the first record we've recorded entirely through some PRO quality gear :-) but since we are coming from this post-rock roots sort of... the music is written that way and I just love mixing some vocals and melodies into that context i suppose." - Ólafur Josephsson
Stafrænn Hákon´s core consist today of 5 members; the two guitarists Ólafur Josephsson and Lárus Sigurðsson, Árni Þór Árnason who plays bass guitar, Róbert Már Runólfsson who plays the drums and aforementioned Magnús Freyr who is the main vocalist. Together they create a rather tight, melodic sound world. Suffice to say Aftur is the bands most refined and mature album to date.