Relatively unknown in the post-rock community, which is always a shame when great projects like these pop up, Madison Asche is Álfheimr - a one person project based out of Portland, Oregon, currently operating in Redding, California. With two albums, an EP, a compilation, and a few different singles down, Álfheimr has a sound that would be hard-pressed not to enjoy, having a progression and a dreampop sound comparable to well-known Icelandic post-rockers Sigur Rós.
The first song, "A Song For Laughter and Forgetting", throws us a loop with a familiar Mogwai sound, giving the professional, refined sound that we can remember off of Mr. Beast. As we delve further, however, the vocal aspect of the song really opens up the song, giving it qualities that even Jonsi could respect and learn from.
As the album continues, "A Song For Loss and Inheritance" suddenly brings a gradual stop to the positive air the first couple songs imparted, and away from the sudden chaos and inner turbulence that "A Song for Decision and Inevitability" brought. As was probably Asche's intent, the song forces us to really delve inside and think - what does this song mean to us? With it's hauntingly beautiful ambiance and synth effects with melodies to stir the soul, What Allows Us To Endure shows consistency and a strange sort of fluidity.
The sound Álfheimr is able to create is unparalleled and stunning. The true effect of this album is a flow of emotions both positive and negative, but giving the album a close place in the hearts of those that can truly appreciate what was created here.
You can listen to this album and all of Álfheimr's other releases (and even support the band by listening or purchasing) at their bandcamp here.
1. A Song for Laughter and Forgetting
2. A Song for Beauty and Adornment
3. A Song for Decision and Inevitability
4. A Song for Loss and Inheritance
5. A Song for Distance and Circumstance
6. A Song for Time and Forgiveness
7. A Song for Dreams and Hopes
8. A Song for You and I