Árstíðir from Iceland have released their third album Hvel, funded entirely by Kickstarter backers and featuring a fresh new combination of electronic and organic inspiration. Following their relatively recent change in membership, Árstíðir took the opportunity to explore new artistic directions, incorporating more synths, electric violin, arrangements for string orchestra, and live drums for the first time.

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The subject matter of Hvel, which translates to “sphere,” reflects its sound; the worlds of the intimate and transcendent collide along with Árstíðir’s new electronic influences and the band’s trademark, vocal-driven acoustic treatments. The first track “Himinhvel,” meaning “sky” or “dome of the heavens,” begins with a dark Gregorian chorale, while the lyrics speak of “transporting me to another world”.
In 2014 the band offered advance copies of the yet-unrecorded album to anyone who would pledge to support its production on Kickstarter.com, along with various rewards including photo and sheet music books, Icelandic wool sweaters knitted by a friend of the band, private day tours of Icelandic caves, and vials of volcanic ash. Although the original estimate of funds needed was $20,000, in less than a month Árstíðir received an overwhelming $70,000 in support from backers in the US, UK, and around the world.
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