Despite this being his debut album, Icelandic singer and songwriter Axel Flóvent is hardly a new face to this game. Having released a steady stream of rich and vibrant EPs as far back as 2016, as well as a wealth of glittering singles, we have enjoyed watching him grow and evolve into the warm and atmospheric artist he arrives as today. And so with little to no fanfare around this new collection, he unveils his first full-length 'You Stay By The Sea', a record that takes generic alt-pop troupes and transforms them into something far more captivating.
From the beginning, 'You Stay By The Sea' treads a very conventional route with its aesthetic. Channelling a bright and radio-friendly approach, the frontman never feels like someone looking to directly challenge the status quo, but there is something mystical about his writing that gives it its own unique lift from the start. His light and effortless vocal performance carries these smooth and sometimes ethereal compositions throughout, delivering an enticing and shimmering mix of pop euphoria and structured storytelling that gives the release an extremely strong direction.
There is nothing new or groundbreaking here, but what Axel Flóvent does, he does with every inch of his soul. Haunting yet uplifting at almost every turn, 'You Stay By The Sea' caps off a five year wait that has certainly been worth the journey. We only hope that he continues this path for many years to come.