AMN Reviews: Laura J. Martin & Mike Lindsay – Bónus Skór (Static Caravan)

Bónus Skór is a shoe shop in Reykjavik, above which Laura J. Martin and Mike Lindsay stumbled into recording a four-tack EP on the coattails of her debut full-length, “The Hangman´s Tree”. Originally intending to make a few simple demos for Martin´s coming album, they ended up embedding Martin´s sweet, Lambchop voice in lush, full technicolour. Cheeky Celtic-tinged pop and/or folk as flippantly experimental as it is endearing and entertaining. Like a wagon that got separated from the rest of the Renaissance Fair and ended up at a radiophonic workshop in the Land of Oz.

Martin also plays flute, piano, mandolin, recorder, piccolo, clarinet and synthesizer, while Lindsay (Tunng/ Cheek Mountain Thief) mainly plays guitar and joins her to duet on “Fish´s Tail”. Local girl Lára Sóley Jóhannsdóttir adds extra body on violin and each track is linked by Icelandic cafe chit-chat. UK beatmaker Benge helped in the final production duties and I wonder if a few of the electronic zaps might not have come from his equipment. Impish and not a little wonky, especially “Salt Hangs Heavy”, but also fresh and friendly. Closing with the spangly, bangly “Applecart”, Martin marches a parade out of town wearing ruby red shoes.

Stephen Fruitman