It’s official and Straumur-approved: summertime has finally arrived! Here are some domestic jams to go with this particular time of year.
Singapore Sling, “Summer Garden”
Singapore Sling’s “Summer Garden” features a sweetness of the drugged-out Velvet Underground variety. Instead of their usual feedback-heavy guitar drones, the song is underscored by bright sunny organ chords, hazy acoustic guitar strumming and a loose tambourine beat. “I’d like to play in / your summer garden / I wanna go swimming / in your river of kisses / I’d like to spend all my time / in your sunny world” are the opening lines, sung by Henrik Björnsson in a lazy drawl reminiscent of Lou Reed’s finest moments.
Emilíana Torrini, “Unemployed in Summertime”
From Emilíana Torrini’s underrated first international album, ‘Love in the Time of Science’, “Unemployed in Summertime” captures a feeling of pure irresponsible slacker bliss. It’s an ode to hanging around in public parks, drinking beer and smoking joints, reading magazines and being young and stupid. It has a happy kind of trip-hop sound, if that makes sense, and Emilíana’s super girly charm sends it over the summery edge.
múm, “Hvernig á að særa vini sína”
Released by múm back in 2012, the song “Hvernig á að særa vini sína” (“How to hurt your friends”) is one of those songs that almost screams summer. The song captures Icelandic summer perfectly. It kind of brushes over you like the fresh summer wind. “Hvernig á að særa vini sína” is from the album ‘Early birds’, a collection of songs that the band made before their first album ‘Yesterday Was Dramatic – Today is OK’ came out in 1999.
Haukur Morthens, “Caprí Katarína”
This song, originally by the folksinger ‘‘Jón Jónsson from Hvanná,’’ features lyrics from the Icelandic poet Davíð Stefánsson and is based on real events that took place in the island of Capri in Italy in 1921. Davíð met a young girl and she and the island blew him away. It’s one of the most beautiful songs sung by Haukur Morthens and it always gives you this breezy tropical feeling when you listen to it.
Sigrún Jónsdóttir, “Fjórir kátir þrestir”
This captivating song was released as a b-side of the single “Augustin” in 1961. “Fjórir kátir þrestir” is a foreign folksong with Icelandic lyrics by Jón Sigurðsson about four thrush birds living in the woods and how their singing brings in the days of summer and joy. Sigrún Jónsdóttir’s performance will light up your day with nostalgic memories of summers long gone.
Óli Dóri and Davíð Roach document the local music scene and help people discover new music at straum.is. It is associated with the radio show Straumur on X977, which airs every Monday evening at 23:00.