A Grapevine service announcement Be patient: That eruption is expected to last until 2015
Music
Review
+-

IKI: IKI

Published April 2, 2012

Nine girls walk into a studio and improv for seven hours, using only their voices. What do you get? A 40-minute studio album of improvised a capella. Sounds like a joke, right? No, it’s not. These girls have created a unique album—a brave, wondrous artistic feat that is original in its execution, not to mention its style.
Unfortunately, while the girls have beautiful voices, there are songs on this album that really drag it down. The first song on this album, titled “I Natt, Mens Du Sov,” is extremely difficult to listen to. “The Mermaid and the Sailor” has real potential, but due to the limits of improvisation, such as no rehearsal and/or set lyrics, the song becomes too repetitive. Looking past the repetitiveness of some of these songs, however, the album proves decent.
Still, the idea behind this album is fantastic and IKI cannot be accused of being cliché. So in sum, the album is worth listening to at least once, to appreciate what these artists are attempting. Just skip the first song…
www.myspace.com/ikivocal


Culture
Album review
<?php the_title(); ?>

EP

by

What Kvöl’s new EP lacks in musicality is made up for in character. The Reykjavík-based post-punk band, which counts noted “Salvation Soldier” Þórir Georg as a member, released their hazy four-song debut this past July. The album is dark and New Wave in aesthetic, constituted by programmed 808-style drumbeats; groggy, doubled guitar lines; and indistinct lead vocals. The reverb is cavernous and plentiful, yet analogue in nature. The occasional synth pad makes an appearance, grounded by bass lines that sound as if they were played through a guitar into broken recording equipment. Each of the EP’s four songs bear meaningful

Culture
Album review
<?php the_title(); ?>

Grúska

by

From start to finish, Grúska Babúska’s wobbly, otherworldly self-titled debut is a pleasure to experience. There is something definitively narrative and theatrical about the ten-song collection, whose eclectic instrumentation includes flute, ukulele, guitar, synth, melodica, music box and a range of pitched percussion. The theatrical nature of the record derives from the constant starting, stopping, and resetting that punctuates each of the songs, resulting in a rare disturbing—yet captivating—listening experience. The arrangements are masterfully crafted, and chaotically layered without feeling crowded or pretentious. The record’s opening track, “Slagarinn,” begins with a minimal synth line, building in texture and dynamic with

Culture
Album review
<?php the_title(); ?>

BÖRN

by

BÖRN’s self-titled début is what some of us have been desperately waiting for: an album that properly echoes the misery of living in Reykjavík. Unlike mediocre bands who sing their happy tunes in broken English—with heavy doses of repetitive claps and heys!—BÖRN manage to portray Reykjavík as it really is. It’s neither cute nor civilized; it is in fact a typical Icelandic podunk backwater town (“krummaskuð”) on steroids. Gray, wet and windy. This Reykjavík death punk band initially called themselves NORN (“WITCH”), and in 2011 released a self-titled cassette of some rather noteworthy tunes. When a local black metal band

Culture
Album review
<?php the_title(); ?>

Hugar

by

I found myself six tracks into Hugar’s self-titled instrumental debut before realizing that the first song had ended. This could mean one of two things: either the lack of lyrical stimulation reaching my brain sent me into an inert mental state, or the neo-classical duo, consisting of producer-instrumentalists Bergur Þórisson and Pétur Jónsson, has achieved the type of cohesion that we are so rarely afforded in today’s single-obsessed musical dominion. I choose the former. The band’s website explains that after “many years in all kinds of different bands,” the two of them started putting together demos in 2012 that eventually

Culture
Album review
<?php the_title(); ?>

47

by

Japanese Super Shift’s ’47’ is an unexpectedly emotional album. The record, which marks the newest creation from producer-instrumentalist Stefnir Gunnarsson, offers a healthy mix of dance-y instrumentals and mature, lyrical songs, representing a multifaceted album that feels as though it could fuel an entire evening, from the first drink to the sombre walkhome. The lyrics are thoughtful and well-crafted, and a comforting break from what we have been trained to expect from contemporary electronic music. Stefnir’s production chops begin to warm up four tracks into the album with “Voxotronic,” a nearly four-minute epic of drum-and-bass-heavy lurching, reminiscent of something a

Culture
Album review
<?php the_title(); ?>

Home

by

With several albums under her belt, two No. 1 singles on the Icelandic music charts, and world touring with Gusgus as a teen, Hafdís Huld has a lot of previous musical experience to draw upon. She’s nearing her mid-thirties now, but has that certain Icelandic agelessness about her. Hafdís’s solo album `Home’ is a simple collection of original folk songs and lullaby-like tunes arranged and orchestrated by the singer’s partner, Alisdair Wright. The warmer, more densely arranged tracks on the album are the most effective and, with a reverberant piano, guitars and percussion, all very radio-friendly. A ukelele even makes

Show Me More!