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'State of the Heart' Review: Lindy Vopnfjörd's new album dwells on the need to protest political correctness

Lindy Vopnfjörd released his new album'State of the Heart', an alternative folk mix of environmental activism and no-nonsense politics
Lindy Vopnfjörd (Photo by Jen Squires)
Lindy Vopnfjörd (Photo by Jen Squires)

Lindy Vopnfjörd has released his new studio album on May 22. The eighth studio album, labeled 'State of the Heart', follows the Icelandic-Canadian folk singer-songwriter's 'You Will Know When It's Right' LP which released in 2019.

Vopnfjörd was born into the Icelandic community in Manitoba, Canada.  He started his music career early, singing traditional Icelandic songs with his family. After moving to Toronto and releasing his debut studio album in 1995, Vopnfjörd music has been leaving a lasting impression on listeners. He has toured with notable Canadian musicians including Tegan and Sara, Melissa McClelland and Serena Ryder.

Showcasing his talent and mile-wide smile at house parties, bars, embassies, theatre halls (supporting the Canadian duo Whitehorse), and large festivals, Vopnfjörd has shown himself to be an intuitive and thoughtful artist. His performances at festivals include Montreal’s Osheaga (with Ian LeFeuvre and Todor Kobakov as the electronic pop group, Major Maker), Reykjavik Folk Festival and Hillside Festival. On 'You Will Know When It’s Right', he collaborated with the legendary Icelandic band Nydonsk, whose music inspired him during his youth.

Now, with 'State of the Heart' a press release statement reveals that the new record "reflects not only Lindy's personal evolution toward a new love and revolution to being a more dedicated songwriter, but also his fledgling partnership with producer Danny Michel, who breathes new life into Lindy’s style by imbuing his signature folk sound with a modern feel. The album displays the synergy between the sound and vision of a meticulous perfectionist working out of a rural studio and the soul of a self-described joyologist and freedom nerd."

Lindy Vopnfjörd - 'State of the Heart' album art (Source: Press Handout)

On 'State of the Heart', 'Vopnfjörd shows his interest in worldly matters and the need to protest political correctness. The Greta Thunberg homage, 'Look Me In the Eye', supports the young environmental activist as Vopnfjörd  sings, "Make sure to sing your truth And we can all sing along And don’t let them twist your words To make it sound like you are wrong." In the peppy title track, he notes, “This was meant to be a protest song, but the politics were wrong. Not a time to be sublime. Let’s leave the politics behind” in the chorus. 'No Place Left to Land' appears on the 2019 documentary 'Margaret Atwood: A Word after a Word after a Word is Power', which featured at Toronto’s prestigious Hot Docs showcase.

'State of the Heart' doesn't boast in heavy-hitting or high energy tones, sonically, but swells at levels non-distracting from the lyrics. 'Cutting Room Floor' was released on May 7 (the same day Lindy and Michel hosted an interactive live stream listening party) as the second single from the LP. The track gets a steady-driven rhythm with a samba-tinged sound in percussion and with similar resonances in tune to indie band James. 'Until I Have to Let You Go' gets a mix of sounds somewhere between Jack Johnson (with acoustic guitar taking center stage) and Sarah McLachlan (with similar moving piano playing). Towards the end, 'Until I have to Let You Go' adds a suspended buzz over melancholic humming in a heart-rending song.

'State of the Heart' is light in sonic vigor but seizes in its messaging and comes recommended for those who savor lyrics and their deeper meanings over being enthralled by musical energies.