Anyone lucky enough to have visited Iceland, will know it is a pretty bewitching place and Mike Lindsay was caught by its spell on his first visit in 2006. His love affair with the country was rekindled a few years later and last year he returned there to record a new album, under the name Cheek Mountain Thief, inspired by the landscape and the people of Iceland.
Lindsay – best known as the frontman of UK band Tunng – worked with local musicians in the north of the country, in Húsavík, before heading to Reykjavík to complete the album. The debut self-titled record was produced by Sindri Már Sigfússon (aka Sin Fang) and is released (by Full Time Hobby) on 13 August 2012. It can be ordered from the record label and from iTunes.
Now living in Iceland, Lindsay hatched a plan in 2011 to travel northwards to the small fishing village of Húsavík with no preconceived ideas and little equipment, recording in a makeshift studio on whatever he could borrow from locals. After two months, the beginnings of an album were conceived, shaped by the people of Húsavík’s small community and backed up by a cast of Icelandic musicians, including the local school’s marimba band. With the breathtaking landscape around Húsavík as a constant source of inspiration, Lindsay recalls, ‘I remember feeling like we were in a mythical wonderland.’ From the village there is a view of Kinnarfjöll – Cheek Mountain – which seemingly inspired not only the band’s name but also the first track to be released (as a free download). I like to believe that this mountain also appears in the track’s magnificently atmospheric video (by Máni M. Sigfússon) but there hasn’t been any confirmation of that yet either way.
If you like what you see (and hear) here, then you might be pleased to know that the band will be performing as a seven-piece in September and on the short tour will be playing no less than three Dutch gigs.
Cheek Mountain Thief – Released 13 August 2012: