Teenage piano phenom Gabríel Ólafs premieres “Staircase Sonata” from forthcoming album Absent Minded

Teenage piano phenom Gabríel Ólafs premieres “Staircase Sonata” from forthcoming album Absent Minded

When times are tough, we turn to reliable pleasures. It could be anything, really. The guilty joyride of a song you hadn’t thought of in years? Sure. The sound of an orchestra falling down a flight of stairs? Why not? It’s your pleasure, after all. If it’s woebegone pianofortes, lilting melodies, and languid ballads you fancy, we have what you need in the form of 19-year-old Icelandic pianist and composer Gabríel Ólafs.

Ólafs will release his debut album Absent Minded on One Little Indian on August 30, but today we are pleased to PREMIERE his latest single and video “Staircase Sonata.” Speaking about the charming track, Ólafs says,

“Staircase Sonata” is a piano song that I wrote when there was a horrible storm in Iceland and the lake flooded into my studio. All my instruments and microphones were in a big pool of water and the fire department came and carried my piano into the stairwell. Although it was an unpleasant event, I really enjoyed the reverb in the stairwell — so that’s where I composed the song. It’s bittersweet but it’s meant to capture positivity in a moment of unhappiness.

Primarily influenced by film composers like Jóhann Jóhannsson and Ludovico Einaudi, “Staircase Sonata” shows that within Ólafs’ young body lurks an old soul ready to take listeners into unexpected and fascinating directions for many, many years to come.

Absent Minded is available on CD, LP, and DL August 30 and can be pre-ordered here and here.


Absent Minded tracklisting:

01. Absent Minded
02. Bára
03. Droplets
04. Cyclist Waltz
05. Lóa
06. Another Fall, Another Spring
07. Staircase Sonata
08. Filma
09. Floral Hymn
10. Think of Home

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