From Iceland — Track By Track: I Am Weary, Don’t Let Me Rest

Track By Track: I Am Weary, Don’t Let Me Rest

Published July 4, 2023

Track By Track: I Am Weary, Don’t Let Me Rest
Photo by
Snorri Hallgrímsson

Snorri Hallgrímsson brings us his newest composition

Snorri Hallgrímsson’s list of works is long. Here, Snorri invites us to delve deeper into his newest solo release, I Am Weary, Don’t Let Me Rest, which was released June 16. 

Before the Storm 

The song that was never meant to exist. We had already started mixing the album and I was waiting for the weather to calm down so I could record the last remaining piano bits on the other tracks. I started doodling on the piano while waiting and this is the result. 

Behind the Sun 

Eerie atmospheric field recordings and disturbing violin textures team up against the string orchestra, which slowly creeps in and ultimately takes over. 

For Better Waters 

I like space in music and there’s a lot of it in this song. Most of it is intentional, but the piano was improvised in one take so sometimes that space is also just me figuring out on the spot what to do next. I liked it and decided against writing a more “streamlined” version. 

Worth and Knowledge 

Choir, vocoder, solo voice, field recordings, a viola being massacred and a string orchestra. Why not? It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but at worst it’s a nice palette cleanser before the very sweet title track. 

I Am Weary, Don’t Let Me Rest 

I had struggled all day to write something incredibly original and this is the type of song that follows a day of struggle. A minimal, familiar and comforting chord progression that builds ever so slightly with each repetition. The title is both accepting and forgiving of my failure, but also encourages me to keep trying. 

The Blind Life 

The title refers to the afterlife of “the uncommitted” Dante encounters in The Divine Comedy: people who lived a life of blissful ignorance but in death are doomed to a miserable non-existence in neither hell nor heaven. This struggle between painful awareness and ignorant bliss is a constant theme on the album. 

The Darkest Descent 

Opposed to the blissfully ignorant “Blind Life,” is the painful privilege of knowledge, which is “a descent into the darker areas of the human soul,” as phrased by Julio Strassera at the trial of the Juntas. Unnur, the solo cellist on the song, said this is “the ultimate Snorri song.” I think she might be right, at least it’s possibly my favourite song on the album. 

At Last We Touched Upon the Lonely Shore 

A string quartet variation of “Worth and Knowledge.” Recorded as close to the musicians as possible and then run through a Roland Space Echo multiple times. I wanted to feel the hairs of the bow almost brush my ears… but for it to still somehow sound distant. 

I Am at Home 

A journey from vast orchestral and ambient elements to the more intimate setting of myself singing at the living room piano, “I Am at Home” is a love song and refers to the feeling of being at ease in the comforting presence of your loved one. 

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