Published September 6, 2017
It’s been good month for new Icelandic music—here are some of the recent faves that have been spinning on the Grapevine stereo, from orchestral folk, to weird trap, to renovated ancient compsition.
Páll Ivan Frá Eiðum – Expanding
We loved this sparse, bassy track when it first appeared in 2014, and we still do as it’s being re-released in 2017. This time it comes heralded by a new video featuring Páll cavorting maniacally with a fire hose, and then covered in blood in a dingy basement, muttering, “My body is so full of hate.” It’s just the tip of the iceberg; an album, ‘This Is My Shit,’ comes later in the month via Mengi Records.
FM Belfast – All My Power
The latest track from perennially awesome party band FM Belfast has a familiar chirpy 8-bit/chiptunes feel to the production, and comes with lyrics about shaking off the blues, getting up out of bed, and doing something with your life. We’d suggest going to see FM Belfast play live as soon as possible, and jumping up and down to your heart’s content. That’ll sort you out.
Gyða Valtysdóttir – Seikilos Epitaph
The exciting new NYC-based solo musician label figureeight recently announced that it’ll be releasing Gyða Valtýsdóttir’s latest solo album, ‘Epicycle,’ internationally and on vinyl. We’re thoroughly smitten with this record, which sees Gyða rework some of her favourite compositions from throughout musical history. So the opportunity to buy it on vinyl suits us just fine.
Grísalappalísa – Kvæðaþjófurinn
Grísalappalísa is an art rock oddity that feels particularly Icelandic in nature, not least because of their reference—via their two sharply contrasting vocalists—to both Iceland’s literary and punk-rock traditions. Their new single is a fuzzy, lo-fi garage-rock shoutalong that embodies their explosive, electric sound. An as-yet-untitled new LP will follow in 2018.
Úlfur – Fovea
Solo musician, artist, serial collaborator and composer Úlfur’s new single is something of a departure from his body of work to date. A densely-orchestrated and yet mellow acoustic tune recorded with Randall Dunn and Alex Somers, it’s a promising first taste of his forthcoming album ‘Arborescence,’ slated for release this autumn.
Gangly – Drowning
Finally, downtempo pop trio GANGLY have completed the four track song cycle they began in 2014 with the mysterious ‘Fuck With Someone Else.’ New single ‘Drowning’ exists in the same coppery, autumnal world as the previous three, and heralds the release of an EP collecting all their work to date, which is out now on Spotify.
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