Articles in Album Reviews:



In retrospect, it seems that Músíktilraunir 2013 turned out to be decent in acting as a springboard for new music acts. You have electronica fauns Vök (AKA Samaris v2.1), ADD metal weasels In The Company Of Men and cartoon shit rockers Kaleo.

Just Another Snake Cult: ‘Cupid Makes A Fool Of Me’

Just Another Snake Cult's ‘Cupid Makes A Fool Of Me’ could be described as a concept album on the theme of love. But if the very idea of such a thing is enough to make you run for the hills, stop and think twice, because it's also something of an opus.

Sveinn Guðmundsson: Fyrir Herra Spock, MacGyver Og Mig 2013

Sveinn Guðmundsson’s debut album is pretty much your standard issue bread and butter lo-fi Icelandic folk twiddle. A deferential mix of gently strummed guitars, soft chewy bass notes, comfy melodica wheezes, and trombone (the Comic Sans of instruments) splayed across the board.

Tilbury: Northern Comfort

It seems fair to say that most forms of entertainment value a certain sense of drama. From Shakespeare to Wuthering Heights to Citizen Kane to Arcade Fire, situations and stories are often presented through a certain lens and with a story arc designed to accentuate the dramatic tension in the subject matter.

Snorri Helgason: Autumn Skies

What beautiful sounds this album delivers; it's simply a brilliantly-designed and controlled set of pastoral pop songs that delivers an intensity of loving thoughts and vignettes through a largely acoustic palette.

ÍRiS: Penumbra

‘Penumbra,' the debut album from songwriter and vocalist ÍRiS, does just what the title suggests.

Benni Hemm Hemm: Eliminate Evil Revive Good Times

As we say in the homeland, 'Eliminate...' is a wee stoater o' an album!

Samúel Jón Samúelsson Big Band: 4 Hliðar

On Samúel Jón Samúelsson's retro-styled album `4 Hliðar' ("Four Sides", as in vinyl), the composer uses an extended album format to give listeners over an hour and a half of funk-laden tunes.

Daníel Bjarnason: Over Light Earth

Don't call this experimental. A common misnomer in contemporary classical music is the term "experimental." If there is anything experimental about composer Daníel Bjarnason's newest record 'Over Light Earth' it is the listener's ability to experiment with preconceived expectations of classical music.

Amiina: The Lighthouse Project

'The Lighthouse Project' carries the listener through memories lost to us over time with its incredibly warm and alluring soundscapes.

Steindór Andersen & Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson: Stafnbúi

A masterful work by two of Iceland’s most distinguished musical forces. Listen to this; you will be glad you did.

Emilíana Torrini: Tookah

Emilíana Torrini’s new album ‘Tookah’ is brimming with her signature sound: quiet vocals, smooth orchestrations, subtle beats, guitar pickings, and romanticised lyrics. But it also goes in new directions that keep the album feeling current.

Nolo: Human

Prolific synth-pop duo Nolo have been quietly amassing a catalogue of self-recorded singles, EPs and albums since their formation in 2009.

kimono: Aquarium EP

Normally I wouldn't take part in what they call in the trade an InstaReview, where you write a review based on a single listen of an album or song.

Bárujárn: Bárujárn

Bárujárn got a lot of hype a few years back when they hit the scene with their inventive breed of dark surf rock that featured the oldest electronic instrument out there, the theremin, which is rarely used nowadays (outside of the occasional sci-fi soundtrack).

Samaris: Samaris

Two—possibly three—eras mesh in Samaris’s music.

Grísalappalísa: ALI

Grísalappalísa’s debut LP is a romper stomper of an album, a high-pitched scream of youthful existential male angst meditated through grooves, riffs and words.

Grúska Babúska: Grúska Babúska

One day someone is going to write an in-depth piece about how Iceland's twee/krútt/naivete scene moved from a musical alternative to the aggressive homogeneity of mainstream culture to a clichéd consumerist lifestyle choice used to hawk everything from mobile phone networks to glacier tours.

Sigur Rós: Kveikur

It’s hard to believe. Yet—Sigur Rós is turning twenty.

Valgeir Sigurðsson: Architecture Of Loss

On ‘Architecture of Loss,’ Valgeir Sigurðsson pares down musical selections originally written for Stephen Petronio’s ballet of the same name.

Útidúr: Detour

Útidúr were called the 'Beirut of Iceland' in their early days, and not without reason.

Oyama I Wanna

Big things are expected of neo-shogazers Oyama in 2013 and their debut EP, ‘I Wanna,’ is their first proper mission statement.

Hymnalaya: Hymns

Religion and "rock 'n' roll" are uneasy bedfellows.

Nico Muhly: Drones And Viola

‘Drones And Viola’ is the second of three releases in Muhly’s “Drones” series.

Samaris: Stofnar Falla EP

On their second EP, young trio Samaris further develop their dystopian folk sound.

Ólafur Arnalds: For Now I Am Winter

Following Ólafur’s fantastic performance at Sónar Reykjavík, I was almost certain that I would give ‘For Now I Am Winter’ a glowing review.

Bloodgroup: Tracing Echoes

Hot on the heels of Legend and Hjaltalín’s dark musical displays, Bloodgroup’s third album ‘Tracing Echoes’ shows the group in a more sombre, solemn mood.

Nadia Sirota: Baroque

If the notion of sitting through an hour of Baroque music makes you shuffle backwards toward the nearest exit, fear not: Nadia Sirota’s ‘Baroque’ is a rich, contemporary album more reminiscent of the grand scale of Baroque architecture than the scales and chord progressions of Baroque music.

Earth Blood Magic: Kontinuum

The majority of Kontinuum’s Candlelight Records debut, ‘Earth Blood Magic,’ feels painstakingly familiar.

Tanya And Marlon: Quillock

‘Quillock,’ the debut EP from Tanya And Marlon (of PLX and Anonymous), sees these stalwarts of Iceland’s electronica scene expand their old-school influenced bass groove to something wider and less aggressive—not so much in yer face, but drifting into inner space.

Úlfur: White Mountain

Beneath the Norwegian black metal font and gray glacial formations on its cover, listeners will unexpectedly find some of the warmest and most redemptive music produced in recent memory.

Sin Fang: Flowers

Picture the last fleeting moments of your life, the minutes, or in most cases seconds you have to live. What do you suppose would occupy your last thoughts?

Futuregrapher: LP

Futuregrapher makes jungle. Rapid-fire beats composed from familiar breaks, dreamy pads with major sevenths, vocal samples and the occasional jazzy riffs: It's all in here.

Retro Stefson: Retro Stefson

If there’s a band that best embodies the “party” spirit of Iceland’s music scene over the last several years, then Retro Stefson must surely be close contenders.

Ophidian I: Solvet Saeclum

‘Solvet Saeclum’ hints at greatness, but the band has yet to control their overzealous enthusiasm.

Pascal Pinon: Twosomeness

Pascal Pinon is fairly well known on the Reykjavík music scene for their quiet ways and low-key performance style.

Dream Central Station

First of all, hats off to Dream Central Station for covering an obvious inspiration (Brian Jonestown Massacre’s “Feel So Good”) on their self-titled debut record.

Paul Corley: Disquiet

Paul Corley is the latest addition to Bedroom Community’s tightly knit roster.

Svavar Knútur: Ölduslóð

Despite (or perhaps because of) his sometimes aching sentimentality, Svavar Knútur is one of the more able English language lyricists in Iceland. He is no slouch in Icelandic either, and here he combine the two.

Jónas Sigurðsson and Luðrasveit Þorlákshafnar: Þar sem himinn ber við haf

Jónas knows how to open albums in a kick-ass manner and “Hafsins Hetjur” (“Heroes of the Sea”) is no exception. The co-credited “Horn Blowers of Þorlákshöfn” sound like a ‘70s funk band on lýsi (“cod liver oil”).

Beneath: Enslaved By Fear

Anything Beneath touches oozes experience and focus. When they have something new out, people get anxious.

Ylja: Ylja

In our quick fire digital music world, the concept of using album art as a primer to a band’s music seems quaint, even alien, to many people.

Þórir Georg: I Will Die And You Will Die And It Will Be Alright

‘I Will Die And You Will Die And It Will Be Alright’ reflects a world riddled with cold comforts.

My Bubba and Mi: Wild & You

‘Wild & You,’ the latest output from Swedish/Icelandic bluegrass duo My Bubba and Mi, takes the form of a five-track EP consisting of their trademark old-timey-with-a-dash-of-sugar stuff.

Hjaltalín: Enter 4

Over the years, Hjaltalín have enjoyed a large amount of respect and success on the back of their two albums, 2007’s ‘Sleepdrunk Sessions’ and 2010’s ‘Terminal.’ Still, I can honestly say that I’ve never really loved Hjaltalín.

Þorunn Antónía: Star Crossed

Ten years after the release of her debut record, Þórunn Antónía returns with the ‘80s throwback album ‘Star Crossed.’

Ojba Rasta: Ojba Rasta

There's an indecisive Icelandicness at work here. The production values, line-up of instruments (clarinet, melodica, euphonium) and vocals are all seemingly un-reggae.

Brák: Tómhyggja

Damn. Daaaaammmnn. This here debut EP from Brák is really quite fantastic.

Bömmer : Drift/Listen/Lucky

For a record that oozes melancholia, desperation and negativity, Bömmer’s EP ‘Drift/Listen/Lucky’ is surprisingly rich.

RetRoBot: Blackout

Músíktilraunir 2012 winners RetRoBot play electronic rock that’s heavily indebted to the eighties, when I presume none of these guys were born.

Cenum : Cenum

Given that many involved in Iceland’s electronic music scene are old enough to remember the early days of rave, it’s good to see some new blood breathing fresher sounds into our ears.

Oléna: Made In Hurt By Heart

On the surface of things, Reykjavík-based French singer Oléna appears to fit in well with the myriad of other kooky (in a good way) electronic artisans that verge on being a dime a dozen in these northern climes.

Kiasmos: Thrown EP

A side project of melancholy orchestral maestro Ólafur Arnalds and Bloodgroup member Janus Rasmussen, Kiasmos explores the pair’s shared interest in minimal techno and electronic sounds.Their first release, ’65,’ had a dry, hard production that hinted at the sounds of Robert Hood and Jeff Mills, but their latest release has jettisoned a lot of the techno harshness for a style that’s softer and less aggressive.

The Heavy Experience : Slowscope

Calm and commendable. Supplementary dynamics, such as a surprise tempo change or bombastic instances of some sort, would have made this Slowcope perfect.

Cheek Mountain Thief: Cheek Mountain Thief

Mike Lindsay—also the frontman of UK folktronica band Tunng—has built up a mythology for this album in which he falls in love with an Icelander, drawing him to Húsavík and Reykjavík, where he writes and records an album with a cast of small town characters and a who’s-who of Icelandic krútt.

Beatmakin Troopa: If You Fall You Fly

I must admit my ineptitude: I didn't know until relatively recently that “chill” was an actual genre name.

Sudden Weather Change: Sculpture

In conversation with myself the other day, I proposed that scene darlings Sudden Weather Change don’t sound excited or fun anymore and that ‘Sculpture’ is the antithesis of the band’s lauded live shows. This was an observation, not to be mistaken for a complaint.

Ghostigital: Division Of Culture And Tourism

Six years after their sophomore LP, ‘In Cod We Trust,’ the boys from Ghostigital are back with a new offering: ‘Division Of Culture & Tourism.’ Musically, it doesn’t stray too far from the last album, with its blend of tech hop beats and assorted electronic noises, but the production and mixing from Curver and Alap “Dälek” Momin feels smoother and more refined this time round.

Contalgen Funeral: Pretty Red Dress

‘Pretty Red Dress,’ the debut album from Contalgen Funeral, is definitely one of the most laughable pieces of wannabe bluescore posturing I’ve seen and heard in quite a while. The whole album, from the cover art to songs such as “Crack Cocaine,” “Bottom Of The Bottle” and “Not Dead Yet,” trades in every lame deprivation-porn blues stereotype going.

Rafsteinn: Rebirth

In a break from their usual psychedelic/garage rock recordings on offer from Ching Ching Bling Bling, this five-track EP from artist Hafsteinn M. Guðmundsson (who looks like a Stasi claims adjuster on the cover art) is a short, sharp burst of delightfully brooding darkwave, complete with one-word song titles and bleak aesthetics.

Mike Pollock: Universal Routes

Something of a legend on the Reykjavík scene since the punk era, Mike Pollock seems to stake his claim as king of the blues too, as he rambles around from Congo Square to Amsterdam, searching for love or whiskey. “Walking” and “Searching” set the tone while “You tore me up but you won’t tear me down” is as good a breakup/hangover statement as any.

Joe Dubius: Rainy day in the park

Joe Dubius is almost everything that a listener could want in a folk artist. Flaunting rough and tumble vocals (free of likeminded artist Ryan Adams’s hipper-than-thou posturing), he’s first and foremost a down-and dirty bluesman.

Arnar Ástráðsson: State Of Mind

Arnar Ástráðsson is a songwriter best known for having a song, "Ástin Mín Eina" (‘My One And Only’), that reached the Icelandic Eurovision finals in 2011. And whoo hoo, not only does it appear on this, his debut album, he also has a “dance mix” version as well. Oh... joy.

Múgsefjun: Múgsefjun

Complexity and experimentalism in rock and pop are to be enjoyed if done with the right level of panache and care (Can, Radiohead, Ariel Pink and Sparks, are the first to spring to mind). And Múgsefjun, on their self-titled second album, employ numerous musical styles and rhythms, from plastic tango twists to Dikta-style tub thumpers, often on the same song.

Two Step Horror: Bad Sides & Rejects

Really, if you call your album ‘Bad Sides & Rejects’ you’re setting yourself up for a fall. Or a snarky review or two. Out extends my leg for a metaphorical tripping then.

Sin Fang: Half Dreams

I’m not a natural summer person, so when a piece of music comes along that actually raises my endorphin levels to the point where I can happily leave the house, then it’s best to grab it with both dirty mitts.

Blood Feud: Hiding Behind The Light

After 2008’s EP ‘Adjustment to the Sickest,’ the former metal covers band known as Blood Feud have finally released their debut, ‘Hid-ing Behind The Light.’

In Siren: In Between Dreams

In Siren describe themselves as “an ambitious project which consists of esteemed musicians from the Reykjavíkian music scene."

GP!: Elabórat

No, it’s not the soundtrack to a Spanish-language version of a Sacha Baron Cohen film, but rather the first solo album of guitar virtuoso Guðmundur Pétursson (here, handily renamed GP!)

Hörður Torfa: Eldsaga, Loftsaga and Jarðsaga

The album series “Vitinn” shows singer-songwriter Hörður Torfa in various stages of life.

Nico Muhly: Drones & Piano

The thing with drones is that they don’t exactly move about very musically do they? So it’s a little discombobulating that Bruce Brubaker’s piano playing features so spritely across the length of this EP.

múm: Early Birds

Dedicated múm fans can reach for their wallets with the release of their compilation ‘Early Birds,’ a fifteen track retrospective comprised entirely of B-sides and previously unreleased work dating from the band’s early period, between 1998 and 2000.

Celestine: Celestine

It’s been four years since Celestine’s last release, and if you are into metal or hardcore, chances are that you’ve been eagerly awaiting their new LP ‘Celestine.’ 

Black Valentine - Polygamy Is Alright With Me

Whoa, someone likes the Velvet Underground don't they? “Get It Together,” which opens this tawdry album, is—probably by design—exactly like an outtake from that band’s Doug Yule era. You know, where he tries to sound like Lou Reed and almost does, to generally dumb effect because he isn't him.

Japanese Super Shift And The Future Band: Futatsu

What a trip down memory lane this Japanese Super Shift And The Future Band (JSS&TFB) album is. It’s like the late ’90s/early ’00s never happened.

Klezmer Kaos: Froggy

Get ready to dance! And possibly cry. And then to say, “Hang on, how come this band is now playing excerpts of Nintendo game themes?”

Hildur Guðnadóttir: Leyfðu ljósinu

In an age where the proliferation of home recording tools means everyone’s a musician at the push of a button, it’s nice to see a bit of ambition. Classically trained and able to hang with the cool kids (Animal Collective, múm, Throbbing Gristle), cellist Hildur Guðnadóttir brings a level of sophistication back to the art.

Logn - Í fráhvarfi ljóss, myrkrið lifnar við

‘Í fráhvarfi ljóss, myrkrið lifnar við’ is the debut album from grindcore dudes Logn. They’re a precociously talented bunch, but unfortunately this is not always readily apparent on this release.

Subminimal: Microfluidics EP

In purely drum and bass terms ‘Microfluidics,’ the second EP from Reykjavík producer Subminimal, does not re-invent the wheel.

Tilbury: Exorcise

When I heard Tilbury was a supergroup of sorts (with members from Skakkamanage, Jeff Who? Moses Hightower, Valdimar and Hjaltalín) flaunting a Belle and Sebastian fixation, I imagined the outcome would be uninspired and pretentious dog shit. Indeed, the attention this band so quickly generated condemns it to high expectations.

Legend: Fearless

It’s a rare event that a debut album from a relatively new band could bring about severe fits of nostalgia for times not so long ago, yet easily forgotten.

Of Monsters and Men: My Head Is An Animal

I moved to Los Angeles nine years ago, which is kinda the same as saying I’ve earned a Ph.D. in cynicism. It’s not as if everyone here is a jerk—as the joke goes, we have a bad side too. It’s just that, in a city so intimately tied to nearly every facet of entertainment, you grow accustomed to looking for the glue and strings holding things together. Don’t believe me? Ask anyone who has had their commute blocked by a film shoot. Magic is overrated.


Kira Kira: Feathermagnetik

I tend to vacillate between indifference and enjoyment when it comes to more ambient music and such was my mood that, at first, ‘Feathermagnetik’ didn’t really register.

Of Monsters and Men: My Head Is An Animal

In 2012, Of Monsters And Men rose above all to the status as Iceland's number one musical export, especially in the USA where their debut album stormed the Billboard charts, selling 55,000 copies in its first week of release (unheard of for an Icelandic act). And it’s hard not to see why.

Track Of The Issue: Just Another Snake Cult: Birds Carried Your Song Through The Night

Short, sweet and kaleidoscopic, ‘Birds Carried Your Song Though The Night’ has a distinctly retro feel to it, with synthesizers echoing throughout like ghosts from the past.

Intro Beats: Half Time

One of the more interesting aspects of Möller Records is the way they seem to act as a refuge for hip hop beat merchants, offering them a sanctuary so that they can produce their work free from evil rap poachers after their ivory rhythms.

Low Roar: Low Roar

Ryan Joseph Karazija’s self-recorded debut album as Low Roar details his struggles as an American to acclimatise to a new life in Iceland.


Sigurður Sævarsson: Missa Pacis

Composer Sigurður Sævarsson’s new album out, ‘Missa Pacis,’ blossoms with harmonies for choir, organ, cello, and percussion.


Hljómsveitin Ég: Ímynd Fíflsins

So you have no doubts about the meaning of Hljómsveitin Ég’s fourth album, ‘Ímynd fíflsins’ (“The Image Of The Idiot”), singer Róbert Örn Hjálmtýsson adorns the cover with the most gormless, inbred, shit-eating-grin this side of a country horse festival.

Þórir: Janúar

Þórir Georg’s second solo album under his own name displays both ends of Þórir’s increasingly diverse and expanding musical palette as he ventures off into his own bleak world.


Benni Hemm Hemm: Skot

It isn’t that Benni Hemm Hemm (Benedikt H. Hermannsson and his gang of musicians) aren’t talented.


Gang Related

With the resurgence of lo-fi surf Pop/Rock, it’s easy to see where Gang Related are coming from.

Muck: Slaves

I do not demand 100% originality or wild surprises at every turn of a new album.


Todmobile: 7

Finally the mighty Todmobile have returned.



I've made up my mind. ADHD's latest album rules.



We recently had a chance to sit down with Sigur Rós’ latest long player ‘Valtari’ (“Steamroller”), which is due out on May 28.

GRM: Þrjár stjörnur

The three stars of the album are as known for their quality song writing as they are for their unconventional singing styles, so bringing the three together to harmonise seems a rather novel idea.


Elephant Poetry: Trash Can Honey

Elephant Poetry’s second album, ‘Trash Can Honey,’ is pretty much your bog-standard test card rock, complete with bullshit swagger, monochrome riffs with a whiff of psych, and chugga-wugga garage beats.

Song For Wendy: Meeting Point

I’m not quite sure, but I think this is a failed attempt to make folk songs out of various poems.


S ND Y P RL RS: Bring Death To S ND Y P RL RS

There’s a time for baring your soul. And there’s a time for realising that, without a bit of window dressing, listeners probably won’t care.


Reykjavík!: Locust Sounds

Six piece rock band Reykjavík!—don’t forget the exclamation mark to avoid confusion with Iceland’s capital city—bring us what is without any doubt this year’s best album artwork.


Rúnar Þórisson: Fall

‘Fall’ is so laid back that one hardly notices that the singer arrives a song too late.


Ruddinn: I Need A Vacation

Ruddinn is a one-piece band starring Bertel Ólafsson, who squeezes pop, rock, indie and electro into the blender at his home studio in Hafnarfjörður.


Helgi Jónsson: Big Spring

‘Big Spring,’ the second album from Helgi Hrafn Jónsson, contains probably the worst lyrics I heard from an Icelandic album in 2011



Nine girls walk into a studio and improv for seven hours, using only their voices.

Baggalútur: Áfram Ísland!

Isn’t there some other album called this? Now, the music here is basically irrelevant, so I’m pretty much just gonna talk about the lyrics.


Gímaldin And Friends: ‘Þú ert ekki sá sem ég valdi’

Rock 'n' Roll has long had an infatuation with addiction, and many odes have been composed to various forms of recreational drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and even coffee.

1860: Sagan

I first saw 1860 in October of last year, not long after their inception, and was drawn to the catchy, simple chord progressions, bouncy triads, and hummable choruses.


I always feel insecure when I try to review music like this (probably because Ben Frost yelled at me about it when I was nineteen).

Dead Skeletons: Dead Magick I & II

These days, it is fairly commonplace for neoclassical/ethereal darkwave bands with albums comprised of many different styles to slap on that dreaded “concept” moniker, and leave the rest to the hard drugs.

Náttfari: Töf

‘Töf’ is Náttfari's debut even though they formed way back in 2000.

Tómas R. Einarsson: Strengur

‘Strengur, the latest work by string musician Tómas R Einarsson, uses the metaphor of ‘strengir’ “strings”) to tie together what is basically a concept album.

Megas og Strengir: Aðför að lögum

An Icelandic legend, a veritable local Bob Dylan/Tom Waits/eccentric troubadour, Megas is a staple of many Icelandic homes.

Daníel Bjarnason/Ben Frost: Sólaris

SÓLARIS is inspired by Stanislaw Lem's book of the same name and the subsequent film by Tarkovsky.

Hjálmar: Órar

Hjálmar live a somewhat unchallenged existence as the kings of the Icelandic reggae scene

Singapore Sling: For Weeks

Oh ok then, Henrik Björnsson sounds like some kind of deadpan cynical cowboy fronting a hybrid Pet Shop Boys / drugged-up psychadelic shoegazey type bunch of reprobates and the sentiments are mostly downbeat or nihilistic

For A Minor Reflection: EP

This is a solid release that old and new fans alike will probably enjoy, but the production is preventing it from reaching its potential

Vicky: Cast A Light

Once upon a time there was an Icelandic band called Vicky Pollard that consisted of four girls in front of a male drummer

Lay Low: Brostinn Strengur

For her third album ‘Brostinn strengur’ (“Broken String”), Lay Low has supplied the music to words written by well known Icelandic female poets

Björk: Biophilia

As most people on Grapevine’s Facebook will know, I recently had the misfortune of losing my cat

Snorri Helgason: Winter Sun

Winter Sun’ is a jukebox of starry warmth, nostalgic romance, and carefree fun.  The album is acoustic simplicity mixed with reverb and celestial twinkles in a way that feels fresh and natural. Snorri has writing chops for days and composes tunes that made me want to watch fireflies from the back porch with a glass of lemonade.

NOLO: Nology

Treading a curious line between meticulously soundscaped and haphazardly simple, Nology is a slightly daft adventure in post-modern musicianship, but its daftness certainly doesn’t prevent it from carving some beautifully austere pop hooks.


‘Útburður Umskiptingur’ is a cracking opener: for nearly a minute you'll be turning the volume up and up to try and hear anything and then cursing the couple next door for letting their baby cry whilst you're trying to listen to some art sonics, goddamnit. Hang on though, that's the track.

Ham: Svik, Harmur Og Dauði

A juggernaut doesn't have to be going at 100mph to squish you flat.

Emmsjé Gauti: Bara ég

Emmsjé Gauti’s long overdue and highly anticipated debut album, ‘Bara ég (“Just Me”) does not disappoint, and with production from Iceland’s finest, such as Introbeats, Redd Lights and Gnúsi Yones, this album was bound to be a hit.

It’s Möller Time!

2011 looks to be a good year for electronic music in Iceland.

Synthadelia: Let The Party Start EP

Iceland’s synth pop revival continues apace with the debut release from the latest project of Reykjavík duo Vilmar Pedersen and Jón Schow.

Skurken: Gilsbakki

Skurken has proudly upheld the name of IDM or electronica (or whatever you want to call that brand of music) for over a decade.

Skálmöld: Baldur

Skálmöld’s debut ‘Baldur’ is a concept album, and follows the story of a Viking by that name.

Hellvar: Stop That Noise

Since their 2007 debut ‘Bat Out Of Hellvar,’ Hellvar have grown from a duo and laptop to a fully fledged band, with drums, bass and everything. And with their second album, they are setting out to ROCK very hard, like a fucker of mothers.    

Úlfur Kolka: Human Error

The latest offering from the former Kritikal Mazz frontman and Ciphah alias sees him rapping in English, which is always going to be a slight risk when it’s your second language, moreso than with regular ‘singing.’

Ofvitarnir: Stephen Hawking/Steven Tyler

I recently wrote a live review of Ofvitarnir, where I used words such as ‘plebeian,’ ‘rough’ and ‘filthy.’

Plastic Gods: Plastic Gods

Can somebody please FOR THE LOVE OF GOD enable it so that the next Plastic Gods release has a good producer and a decent recording budget? We’ve all experienced the brilliance of their live show, and they have the ability and potential to produce THE immense doom metal album that would make Neurosis crap blocks of solid fear.

Skúli Mennski: Búgí!

The opening tracks of this fine, strange album—‘Innsigling’ and ‘Leggir’—set up this LP as one containing the best doomy-blues songs that Nick Cave only wishes that he could have waved at.

Daníel Ágúst: The Drift

Blues doesn't get the appreciation it deserves. But if Daníel Águst has got anything to do with it, that's gonna change, cowboy. And though the form itself is based round familiar chords and licks, in the hands of someone with something to say and the skills with which to say it that self-same anchor allows a great amount of contemporary context.


The Vintage Caravan: The Vintage Caravan

People will often give a bunch of kids that play wholly derivative genre music a free ride if they play said genre music well. And this applies wholly to The Vintage Caravan.


Manslaughter: Fuck life choose death

Things are actually starting to look rather healthy in the Icelandic hardcore scene right now. With the Grange Hill grindcore of Logn and the slightly bleak worldview of World Narcosis coming at you like a procession of gobby meerkat, we now have the goodtime counterpoint of Manslaughter’s debut album.


Spacevestite: Spacevestite

What do you do when you want to get stoned and lost on a beach in California in the sixties but you are stuck in Hafnarfjörður? I don’t know, but if the end result is the self-titled album by Spacevestite, I’d seriously consider laying off that shit.

Dathi: Dark Days

Today the sun is shining, people are smiling and the birds are singing. But sod that, because the doom-meister from Dalvík is back!

Saktmóðigur: Guð hann myndi gráta

The first thing you notice about Saktmóðigur’s first album in thirteen years is not the music. It’s the rather fetching layout design.

Jón Jónsson: Wait For Fate

Let's get one thing clear: this boy can sing and his vocals are of that lovely come-hither richness that slides this debut album into the middle of the pop arena, on a wave of gushing oestrogen from his audience.

World Narcosis: World Narcosis 7"

When people historicise musical genres they always look for flashpoints and influences that ‘caused’ a band or something to happen.

Evil Madness : Super Great Love

Iceland’s electronic Travelling Wilburys are back as BJ Nilsen, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Pétur Eyvindsson, Stilluppsteypa and DJ Musician take a break from creating ambient drones.

Bjartmar og Bergrisarnir: Skrýtin Veröld

The ‘80s were, perhaps surprisingly, something of a golden age for Icelandic pop lyrics. Socially conscious, verbally biting artists competed in defining their society with the aid of the Icelandic language, usually accompanied by rather straightforward rock instrumentation or the synthesisers that were the hallmark of the era.

Guðmundur Steinn Gunnarsson: Horpma

The latest composition from S.L.Á.T.U.R member Guðmundur Steinn Gunnarsson is a strange, almost impenetrable beast with avant-garde plasma running through its veins.

Jóhann Jóhannsson: The Miners’ Hymns

While Jóhann Jóhannsson’s status as a musician and producer in Iceland is assured, his soundtrack albums in the past, while sounding “nice”, suffered from a lack of depth and emotional resonance that can leave you cold.


The Noise Revival Orchestra: Songs of Forgiveness EP

The Noise Revival Orchestra seem to have moved away from their experimental orchestral work in the EP ‘Songs Of Forgiveness’.

FM Belfast: Don´t Want To Sleep

The album lead-in is a raging ‘90s keyboard loop with promises of a record best experienced while wearing overalls and watching some ebony mercenary on ‘Top of the Pops’ grind in front of two nerds from Coventry. That turns out to be a false promise, although there is some shared ground between FM Belfast and the raver pop.

Dead Skeletons: Dead Magick I & II

The creation of Henrik ‘Singapore Sling’ Björnsson and Jón Sæmundur (aka artist Nonni Dead), their album ‘Dead Magick I & II’ is the latest in the psych rock continuum that started with the Velvet Underground/13th Floor Elevators, passing through Spacemen 3 / The Black Angels / Brian Jonestown Massacre.

Two Step Horror: Living Room Music

It’s been a busy time recently over at the local leather-clad sex ‘n’ death collective, commonly known as Vebeth. The last month has seen two releases from artists within the collective, both exploring the darker side of rock with varying results.

Tryggvi Hübner: 2.0

Tryggvi Hübner is an accomplished guitar player. He’s tactful, tasteful and many other positive adjectives that end in -ful. And he’s skilled as a motherfucker.

Puzzle Muteson

Puzzle's songs tell the listener stories about nostalgia and horses, rust and polar bears, heartbreak and birds.


The year 2010 was one of transition, with too many bands shuffling around indecisively.
This year seems it will be more of the same, with the off-the-mainstream music still finding its footing while the dreamlike, stripped-down, sliced-up, '85-'93 inflected sound pulses and drones in the hands of Animal Collective's dilated pupils.

Svartidauði: Temple of Deformation

Svartidauði have made unpleasantries their business for some time now. But despite a loyal cult following, they’ve hardly been prolific. In times when a large number of black metal bands are trying to not sound black metal, Svartidauði revels in what once pushed people away and certainly did not recruit hipsters in droves.

Steve Sampling: The Optimist

Steve Sampling’s trip-tastic journey through his magical adventure world of drum patterns, random delay effects, airtight compression and—you guessed it—oodles upon oodles of samples is light, accessible and enjoyable, which isn’t necessarily a good thing, mind you.

Nico Muhly: I Drink The Air Before Me

DTABM reaches far and wide in its attempts to balance playful flute frolics and dark, sombre horns, and Muhly has created a piece that, while ostensibly a soundtrack to a visual work, also functions fairly well as a darkly atmospheric work in its own right.

Malneirophrenia: M

Malneirophrenia are a trio consisting of piano, cello and electric bass that used to call itself Medectophobia (but that was probably too difficult to pronounce). They play “horror punk cabaret” that feels like silent cinema soundtracks with a transfusion of Hitchcockian tension.

Reason to Believe: The Scenery

This review really can’t do justice to the cataclysm that is listening to Reason To Believe’s debut album.

The Heavy Experience: The Heavy Experience

Just how menacing can a saxophone sound? Thanks to the debut effort from The Heavy Experience, we know the answer to be...rather a lot.

Sin Fang: Summer Echoes

Sin Fang's new album, 'Summer Echoes,' is that place where the ocean meets an erupting volcano. In some tracks, you can hear Sindri Már Sigfússon's voice moan through the electronic swooshing of the waves, but in others, the vocals, guitar, and drums plummet from the sky like little droplets of lava.

Lower Dens: Two-Hand Movement

Sweeping through its thirty-odd minutes in a laid-back haze of introspective nihilism, 'Two-Hand Movement' is a rainy afternoon of twinkling guitars.

Skúli Sverrisson: Sería II

When it doesn’t get too stupid and sappy (like one of those unbearable French films with a season, colour or a place in France in the title), this is actually a nice little piece of stringladen ambience that drifts along quite innocently.

We Made God: It's Getting Colder

Look at the CD design for We Made God’s second album, with its bleak monochromatic photography and rigid lettering.

Melchior: 1980

Melchior is one of those prototype renaissance artist groups, consisting of multi-instrument-wielding folks performing music as a vehicle for poetry.

Ferlegheit: You Can Be As Bad As You Can Be Good

Hot tip for you Icelandic bands with English lyrics: spell-check your motherfucking CD booklet… and learn English… and maybe get someone else to do your artwork…

Valdimar: Undraland

A laid-back collection of organ-driven pop, this album doesn’t do much of anything too interesting or remarkable, just kind of chilling in its own little universe of indolence.

BlazRoca: KópaCabana

BlazRoca’s epic-length, 21-track return to the Icelandic hip-hop scene is about as chaotic as you’d expect.

Prinspóló: Jukk

With ‘Átján og hundrað’, Prins Póló created one of Iceland’s more hideously catchy songs 2009. Fast forward a year and Svavar Pétur Eysteinsson’s (of Skakkamanage) one-man project (now called Prinspóló) again enchants with the same lo-fi acoustic pop, this time with the debut album ‘Jukk’.


Lifun: Fögur fyrirheit

The beginning of Lifun's debut album seems designed to bring out feelings of despondency with trite pop pap that's as disposable as last week's newspapers.

Ask The Slave: The Order Of Things

This is the type of music that experts and self-appointed authorities on what’s cool make fun of or are intimidated by.

Prófessorinn og Memfismafían: Diskóeyjan

A sort of children’s story with songs, Diskóeyjan tells the tale of two kids, Daníel and Rut, who are sent to Diskóeyjan (“disco island”) to learn how to be cool. 

Agent Fresco: A Long Time Listening

Its careful sonic innovation brilliantly showcases that rock music played by educated musicians doesn’t have to be boring and pointless.


Hjaltalín are locally renowned for their live performances, and their new live album, ‘Alpanon’—a live album that documents their concert with the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra this spring—is a testament to their deserved reputation.

Retro Stefson

The album is fun and rhythm filled, good for a bit of a living room dance, one healthy way to while away the dark winters.

Siggi G. and Memfismafían

Some easy listening music to help you survive the Christmas gravy delivery system this year.


There is a beautiful simplicity to roughly half of this album that is difficult to shake.


As a general rule, Christmas albums are a jingly, tinkly waste of money and should be avoided if not outright banned. The latest output from comedy group Baggalútur, ‘Næstu Jól’, may however be an exception.

Friðrik Dór

Okay, I know how this is gonna sound, but I’m sorry, Friðrik Dór just isn’t black enough to pull this shit off.

S.H. Draumur

Like finding out your uncle was in a REALLY cool rock band.

Orphic Oxtra

The debut album by Balkan-style band Orphic Oxtra is a twisting, turning, flying all over the place kind of experience.

Samúel Jón Samúelsson Big Band

Samúel Jón Samúelsson Big Band have been together on and off for a decade now, forming in 2000 for a series of live performances in Reykjavík...

Útidúr: This mess we've made

Icelandic sass with an enjoyably dirty twist.

Sketches for Albinos: Days Of Being Wild And Kind

Sketches for Albinos is the solo project of Iceland based musician-slash Bedroom Community affiliate Matthew Collings.

Swords of Chaos: The End Is As Near As Your Teeth

Here we have a group of young dudes that are good friends. They’re horny, amped and there are no brakes.

Miri: Okkar

This is magnificent. It really is.

Mount Kimbie: Crooks & Lovers

Dubstep has grown from a small London niche to the predominant genre in electronic music.

Amiina: puzzle

Amiina venture into new musical horizons with ‘puzzle’, their second full-length album.

Haffi Haff: Freak

Haffi Haff the man is probably a decent chap.

Momentum: Fixation At Rest

On Fixation at Rest Momentum offer more athmosphere than all of the sky combined along with a dozen LSD tabs of psychadelia and devastating slabs of wicked heaviness.

Markús and the Diversion Sessions: Now I know

Markús Bjarnason used to be a member of a most rockingly brilliant band called Skátur.

Rúnar Magnússon: Options

You’ve got to hand it to the guys at Hjlóðklettar records.

Rökkuró: Í annan heim

"Not suitable for music therapy... or anything else for that matter" ... "Flat-Pack Post Rock"

Valgeir Sigurðsson: Draumalandið

Divested of the enviro-politic moving picture of the same name, this ceases to be a soundtrack and transcends even the status of an album, because everything about this collection of feelings, emotions and resonant creative constructions is pretty much immaculate.

Bárujárn: Bárujárn (EP)

This EP is incredibly frustrating.

Nóra: Er einhver að hlusta

You start a band with your mates. Your band has umpteen members with instruments such as violin, harp and washboard.

Ljótu Hálfvitarnir: Ljótu Hálfvitarnir

Am I the only one not entertained by this stupid gypsy-folk shtick?


Why do people try to cover Kate Bush?

Svarthöfði: Svarthöfði EP

Didn’t know much about Svarthöfði (Icelandic for Darth Vader) but I took a punt on these guys through Gogoyoko.

Loji - Skyndiskyssur

Minimalistic vocal-centric lo-fi is a tough game to play.

For A Minor Reflection

With all the rock being recorded in Iceland, you’d think we’d have found one producer who can make it sound the way it should.

Ólafur Arnalds

If you’ve ever witnessed Ólafur Arnalds perform, you know that his music has an almost magical aura. I recently saw a hall with hundreds of metal-festival attendees hushing each other fervently while devotedly taking in Ólafur and his string quartet.

Stafrænn Hákon - Sanitas

There was a point somewhere about five years ago when post-rock went from still being something, kinda, to becoming full-on cock-rock that overcompensating dudebros could justifiably cry over.

Daði: Self Portrait

To my knowledge, the only notable thing to have come from Dalvík recently is Friðrik Ómar, a poisoned pop dwarf whose music is the equivalent of a dozen Care Bears vomiting onto the face of a small child.

Me, the Slumbering Napoleon: The Bloody Core Of It

Like a dry-hacking weasel. Put it out of its misery with a shovel.

The Flaming Banshees: Satan is a Farmer

A lot of the acoustic based releases making the rounds this year seem to be following the same tired 60s and 70s template of Neil young/Nick Drake/Van Morrison. The end result of this is that they all seem to have the atmosphere of a stale fart.

Wormlust: Seven Paths

Everybody and their mother are talking about atmospheric black metal these days. Sure enough, there's a tidal wave of bands trying to get their piece of the pie, by throwing in some ambient keyboard noises and dragging their otherwise uneventful songs out.

Daníel Bjarnason: Processions

It would be nigh on impossible to describe the complexities of Daníel Bjarnason´s debut album in 150 words, but suffice it to say it´s pretty powerful stuff.

Logn / Manslaughter: Split

Exploding out of the gate in true Nasum fashion, both guns grinding, with an evil yet instantly memorable main riff.

Who Knew: Bits And Pieces Of A Major Spectacle

Ever since Jakobínarína disappeared, Iceland has been crying out for a rousing INDIE ROCK band to rally behind.

Jón Tryggvi: Silkmjúk er syndin

At school, most people would go mental over Indie or the latest dance music. However, there was always someone who would glide around acting like a 40-year old, saying they were into the likes of Nick Drake and Jeff Buckley, saying that the music “spoke to them” about their lives

Carpe Noctem: Carpe Noctem

A great debut from one of Iceland's most promising metal bands.

Serðir Monster: Tekið stærst upp í sig

Not really an ‘album’ of ‘music’, unless you think of Weird Al Yankovic as a ‘musician’ who makes ‘albums.’

Nögl: I Proudly Present

Well, yes indeed: why not be proud of what you produce?

Hafdís Huld: Synchronised Swimmers

Contrary to what the album cover and sleeve would have you believe, Synchronised Swimmers is as straightforward and un-quirky as they come.

BB & Blake

BB & Blake comprises former GusGus-er Magnús Jónsson along with Vera Sölvadóttir.

The Coma Cluster: Observation

The Coma Cluster is a project consisting of Hallvarður Ásgeirsson (Stórsveit Nix Noltes), composer Siffvilnius, and musicians from Denmark and Japan.

Uni: Enchanted

Downbeat folk that doesn’t quite do what it says on the tin

Gjöll: Sum Of Transformations

Most people think of nature as cute animals in meadows, set to a Sigur rós song. These people are idiots.

Hudson Wayne: How Quick Is Your Fish? (2010)

Seven tracks of laconic resignation form Hudson Wayne’s third “full-length” and it stands firmly as the band’s most relaxed and confident offering yet, which is not to say it goes anywhere special or interesting.

Ólafur Arnalds: Found Songs (2009)

Found Songs is a project Ólafur Arnalds undertook last year. It involved writing, recording and mixing a track every day for a week, then giving them away for free via his Twitter account.

Úlpa: Jahilíya (2009)

Úlpa have been lingering at the periphery of the Icelandic music scene for long enough to make something of a name for themselves, but I can’t remember ever meeting anyone who really likes them or has even listened to them, except for this one guy...

Sykur: Frábært Eða Frábært (2009)

This essentially represents everything that’s wrong with Icelandic techno: all flashy cool and glossy sophistication without having any depth or songwriting skills to back it up.


Stereo Hypnosis: Hypnogogia (2009)

I looked it up too; it means the transitional state between sleep and waking. Óskar Thorarensen – Jafet Melge/Inferno 5 – and his son Pan Thorarensen, aka Beatmakin Troopa, build on the organic electronic of Parallel Island with this woozy long-player…

Snorri Helgason: I'm Gonna Put My Name On Your Door (2009)

This debut solo album takes in country-blues (The Silence Of The Night) , a kinda hoedown rock (Freeze-out) and purer, Donovan-ish folk (Carol, She’s A Meadow)...

Berndsen: Lover in the Dark (2009)

Unlike the national potato harvest, 2009 saw Iceland produce a glut of releases from Electronic pop/dance acts. But with so many contemporaries sporting drum machines as accessories, it can certainly be difficult to get oneself noticed amongst all the synthesizer noise.

Lára: Surprise (2009)

Surprise, the third long player from singer Lára Rúnarsdóttir is—contrary to what the title might suggests—a rather unsurprising affair.

The Foghorns: A Diamond As Big As The Motel 6 (2009)

The boy Bart Cameron and friends return with an album that manages to simultaneously inhabit a Midwestern, dusty landscape and poke the genre with sticks til it twitches and grunts with irritation.

Bloodgroup: Dry Land

While Bloodgroups´ first album was brash, in your face and full of day-glo E numbers, Dry Land sees them relax and breath in a bit more.

Morðingjarnir: Flóttinn Mikli

Morðingjarnir have been together for nearly five years, which in punk/hardcore terms means that they’re becoming grizzled old warhorses of the scene. And their third album sees them slowly moving away from the core sound of their first two albums.


Like being put on hold by your bank, but interesting.


Moody Icelandic indie rock comes of age.

Stereo Hypnosis

Best enjoyed whilst lying on the floor, staring at the ceiling.


Iceland in Psychedelic Monkey Trafficking Shock Horror!

Ben Frost

On By The Throat, artwork and music unfolds like a Scandinavian thriller.

Worm is Green

An album that’s moody, dark and loves to stay there...


Saying that the GusGus party has come to an end would be premature and unfair, but this is still their weakest record to date.


Singer María Magnúsdóttir’s début is gutsy. A flowing blend of funk, soul, jazz and pop, the album has a sexy sound to it

Þóra Björk

A few too many dú-dú-dú's


Mode-ish, then modish Norwegian electronica


Akrane's ugliest, heaviest and best.


Sólstafir have come a long way from their humble black metal beginnings in the mid-nineties.

Me, the Slumbering Napoleon

A bit rough around the edges but a good debut.

Circle of Ouroborus

What is it with the Finns when it comes to music?


There’s a point where art-music becomes almost transcendentally self-indulgent and that is the point at which it also becomes magnificent.

Egill S

While bereft of the homemade, tinker-happy style that so distinguished his earlier work, Egill’s new album is nonetheless an excellent showcase

Kippi Kaninus

Kippi Kaninus, otherwise known as Guðmundur Karlsson, is not a newcomer to the Reykjavík music scene.

Skelkur í Bringu

Discordant and diverse, in a cool way

Lights On The Highway

Get for the hits and when they decide to rock. For the rest, just stick to the Neil Young.

Joe Pug

Country-blues from the Dylan/Springsteen stable. Nothing new under the sun, but the sun shines still.


Trúbatrix – Taka 1 is a compilation of all female musicians (both known and unknown) that are brought together with the idea of creating a unified network

Dr. Zühlke and Mr. Eldon

Sindri Eldon and Florian Zühlke share their (opposing) thoughts on and opinions of Björgvin & Hjartagosarnir.

Cosmic Call

Cold Hands, the track, introduces matters and sounds like Cosmic Call have collectively eaten a bunch of U2 and Kings Of Leon albums and recorded their subsequent vomiting session.


Árstíðir bring a bit of a free loving, hair-flowing feel with their début, living up to their reputation as modern-day Simon and Garfunkels.

Andrew W.K.

Andrew W.K. is a guy you might have seen in some rather awkward/awesome music videos in the early 00s. Not surprisingly most people choose to ignore and/or hate him, the reason being that he and his music are highly hazardous to anyone's cool, something that Icelanders care a great deal about.


Not going to change the world, but still pretty good.


Foreign Monkeys

When you need your rock to kick some ass, you need look no further whatsoever.

Dr. Zühlke and Mr. Eldon

Sindri Eldon and Florian Zühlke share their (opposing) thoughts on and opinions of Retrön.

Audio Improvement

Heavily accented and poorly flowing rap accompanies predictable lo-fi  instrumentation on this largely forgettable half-hour of music.


The album is a collection of mostly instrumental cover versions culled from Icelandic pop music history.

Dr. Zühlke and Mr. Eldon

Sindri Eldon and Florian Zühlke share their (opposing) thoughts on and opinions of Skakkamanage

Sonically Speaking

It‘s been eleven years since Ensími‘s remarkable debut was released, and as a commentary on their commemorative concert on June 11th, it seems an analysis of some sort is in order.

Dr. Zühlke and Mr. Eldon

Sindri Eldon and Florian Zühlke share their (opposing) thoughts on and opinions of Leaves.

Plastic Gods

After leading us on with thirteen minutes of magnificent drone, Quadriplegiac’s opening track devolves into a stoned, floppy masturbation session, as happy to adopt rock and metal’s biggest clichés as it is to ignore their ground rules.


Helgi Hrafn Jónsson

Although perhaps not the most inspired 43 minutes ever committed to CD, For The Rest Of My Childhood nevertheless accomplishes very nicely what it sets out to do. Helgi Hrafn’s beautiful voice, strained and desperate, yet somehow also formal and wooden, carves its way through seven predictable post-punk numbers with amiable charm. 

Dr. Zühlke and Mr. Eldon

Sindri Eldon and Florian Zühlke share their (opposing) thoughts on and opinions of Mikael Lind.


Jarboe’s magnificent Hindu-apocalyptic concept album Mahakali is nothing short of spectacular in its gloom, hopelessness, and sense of impending insanity; although it could have used a little more adventurousness, it is no less a fitting product of the sound she has been slowly evolving for the last twenty years.

David Byrne & Brian Eno

It is amazing how two incredibly talented and interesting musicians can conspire to make something as inherently dull and commonplace as this. Middle age, it seems, has not only caught up with the duo, but completely overwhelmed and surrounded them.


Sparks’ 21st studio album is not exactly a return to their seventies golden age values and energy, but it comes as close as the fifty-year olds are likely to get at this point. Discarding the distinctly fake-sounding string synths of their last two albums, the Mael brothers wisely place more emphasis on their more-than-competent rhythm section, and at least try to rein in their inherent silliness, to varying degrees of success.

Electric Six

Flashy is, frankly, anything but. After four albums of rollicking, spectacular cock-rock that have gone sadly unnoticed, Electric Six’s fifth studio LP in six years is little more than a slightly sexed-up lumpy slab of rock.


The Vultures EP is the début offering from a very young Reykjavík band, Muck, whose members barely seem to have left their teens – at least judging by their appearance, because the first evil-downtuned chords of Vultures display that this is serious music, not about playing around childishly.

Sudden Weather Change

Within seconds, Sudden Weather Change's (not that) new recordings catch me. The way the five seem to break every genre border between emo, punk, rock and even funk or danceable disco-pop is unique so far, but they manage to make the outcome even catchy and full of emotion.

Valgeir Sigurðsson

Composer Valgeir Sigurðsson did a great job of scoring fabled documentary Dreamland (read all about the film – and win tickets to
a screening P. 15). His music plays a big role in the documentary, and serves to emphasise its important message. To create the score, Valgeir drafted in the all-star Bedroom Community team with the expected results. The track on offer, Grýlukvæði, is likely to be one of the more chilling pieces of music you’ll hear this year. Based on an ancient Icelandic folk song, the BC gang’s re-arrangement is inventive and moving. Sam Amidon sings the tune (in Icelandic!), Nico Muhly played piano and organ, Ben Frost created electronics and beats and Valgeir produced and mixed everything.


Since forming in 1997, Dälek has mixed traditional hip-hop with drone and rock elements, gaining attention from audiences far beyond the genre’s usual borders.


I guess ZU make it even harder to categorise their sound than Dälek – also on IPECAC records – do.


After a somewhat unnecessary intro begins the most shockingly direct and vital New York rock album in years.

Steed Lord

“Temptation is a bitch / Get on your knees and suck my dick, girl” ...indeed.

Singpore Sling

After the swaggering binge that was Life Is Killing My Rock & Roll and the crisp urgency of Taste The Blood, PD&D is as confident, laid-back and self-assured as Singapore Sling have ever been.

Elín Ey

On her debut album, Elín Ey presents her energetic voice very fittingly to the sounds of her fragile guitar play.

Sin Fang Bous

As Sin Fang Bous is the solo-project of Sindri from Seabear, you will quickly notice the comfortable voice and welcoming little melodies that make his main band one of my favourite young Icelandic indie acts.

Jóhann Jóhannsson

A musically pointless, if effectively atmospheric, exercise in self-indulgence.

Dr. Spock

Dr. Spock’s experimentation and unwillingness to have their music categorised makes them a hard thing catch on to right away.

Fm Belfast

FM Belfast definitely will make some friends, and not just because they are such a sympathetic live band and generally awesome people.


So this is interesting. It’s carefully machinated party rock, seemingly designed to have the impact of an incredibly fat man jumping onto a dinner table full of food and smashing it...

Agent Fresco

This musically flat but well-performed EP sounds a bit too much like twenty other bands I could name to make an impact, but it plays well enough to be memorable.


It’s amazing how many singers Eddie Vedder has subliminally inspired to suck...


The title should have tipped me off. Call it folky, call it country, call it whatever you want, it’s still gonna suck.


There are very few live bands around Iceland that are celebrated at their shows like Reykjavík! The second album of this furious five-piece gives the proof again why.

The (International) Noise Conspiracy

The (International) Noise Conspiracy today have been around much longer than their preceding hardcore-punk band Refused ever was...

Bob Justman

The two faces of Bob Justman: in one moment “Happiness and Woe” is a shy and subtle, scarcely orchestrated singer-songwriter record, but in the next, Justman leads you into a musical southern-blues-swamp...

Jeff Who?

Quite confidently, Jeff Who? published their sophomore album self-titled. Again, it provides everything the band got famous for with the debut “Death before Disco”. There are tons of catchy hooklines and pleasant melodies.


Beatmakin Troopa

Well-tempered jazzy Downbeat.


Ghostigital, Finnbogi Pétursson & Skúli Sverisson

Music for environmental convenience.

The Viking Giant Show

Icelandic Alternative-Country with good moments.


Entertaining pop music without rough edges.


Artificially antisocial Lo-Fi punk.


Retro Stefson

Good humoured pop songs for the dark season.

Motion Boys

The lights are broken on the 80's disco ball


Very good indie record with a few flaws


Convincing debut between classic rock and country.


Shogun have done quite a job here, the songs are diverse and crisp.


Líf & Fjör

The Foghorns

Willa Cather Way

Wanker Of The 1st Degree


The Brian Jonestown Massacre

Just Like Kicking Jesus

Circus: Últra Mega Technobandið Stefán

Energetic yet repetitive.

Emiliana Torrini: Me and Armini

Certainly well worth your time.

Celestine: This Home Will Be Our Grave

What makes Celestine really outstanding is their ability to intersperse subtle melodies.

We Made God: As We Sleep

This record is preceded by its reputation


For some reason, this debut album by the Glascow three-piece Foxface ended up on my desk.

Ólafur Arnalds

Ólafur Arnalds is a jack of all trades. Variations of Static is his second album of compositions for piano and strings, following Eulogy for Evolution (2007).

Kira Kira

In recent years, the successful portions of the Icelandic post-rock scene have made a sound to call their own and Kira Kira, along with their topically-named new album, fit quite precisely into this school.

My Summer as a Salvation Soldier

The twelve songs on Activism, an album wracked with emotion and subtle diatribe, are arguably some of the best tracks to be released in Iceland this year.


The opening bars of the new Andrúm LP suggest impending doom but when Jóna Palla’s vocals envelope the minor key, the listener is ushered into comfort.

Peter And Wolf

Peter And Wolf may not be well-known but their ambiguity (the album has been sitting on someone's shelf for four years before a release date was set – their live shows are just as chaotically scheduled) and underground popularity have bred a certain mystique that's wholly justified by this dense record.

Boys In A Band

With production from Sigur Rós / Cocteau Twins album maestro Ken Thomas, you might expect Boys In A Band's first record to sound a little slushy – not a bit of it.

Mercedez Club

With DJ Sammy and Basshunter as their top friends on Myspace, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Merzedes Club aspire to play sun drenched parties in the Balearic Islands.






VERDICT: Flawed in places, but distinctly listenable if you like inoffensive, slick pop rock.

Sigur Rós

New Sigur Rós album falls just short of being great, but is still more than worthy of your attention.

Benni Hemm Hemm

A solid release, which adds little new to an established catalogue


Icelandic folk-rockers Grjóthraun leave little to be excited about.

Björk - Volta


Trassar - Amen


Biggi - id


Toggi - Puppy


Æla - Sýnið tillitsemi, ég er frávik

Worth three beers.



Lára - Þögn


T-Model Ford


Editor's Choice


Bubbi - Kona


Hoffman - Bad Seeds

Worth two beers. Costs four.

FLÍS: Vottur




Hölt Hóra




Eighties Album Reviews

Duran Duran Playing on June 30th in Iceland





Guide to the ratings system:

In prison, you deal in cigarettes. In Iceland, you deal in beers. We don’t condone this, we just accept it as fact. One beer=500 ISK at the seedy bars we frequent. That means a mainstream release costs up to 2500 ISK... or $40. Yes, that much. That’s why we do the beer thing.

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