Published October 4, 2017
With Airwaves approaching, Icelandic bands are throwing out new material at a rate of knots. Here are the tracks that have caught our eye over the last two weeks.
Sin Fang, Sóley & Örvar Smárasson – Used And Confused
The latest addition to this esteemed trio’s monthly singles project is their most upbeat yet, by some distance. ‘Used And Confused’ features burbling synths, cheeky bass bumps, and endearing vocal performances, all reminiscent of Sin Fang’s thrillingly effervescent last album, ‘Spaceland.’ See them live at Norður og Niður festival in late December. JR
Mammút – Believe
This is one of the more unlikely cover versions you’re likely to hear this year. Shoegazey indie-rock quintet Mammút’s torch-song take on the Cher single ‘Believe’ is both dreamy and hilarious, and comes with a tongue-in-cheek karaoke-style video. Hats off to Mammút for this one. JR
Úlfur – Vakandi
‘Vakandi’ (‘Alert,’ in English) is the second single to be revealed from Jonsi and Ólafur Arnalds collaborator Úlfur’s forthcoming solo album, ‘Arborescence.’ It’s an atmospheric, down-tempo song swathed in echoing string arrangements with deep, doleful vocals layered over delicately plucked guitar strings. JR
CYBER ft. Countess Malaise – Psycho
Cyber is known for slow-burn trap. Countess Malaise is known for pure aggression. Mix the two together, and you’ll get some unhappy employees at Aktu Taktu, apparently. Real talk: ‘Psycho’ is the perfect mix of sugar and spice, taking the smooth raps of Cyber and edgy-ing it up with the forceful yells of Malaise. Please girls, can we have some more? HJC
Alexander Jarl – Hvort Annað
‘Hvort Annað’ translates to ‘Each Other’ and tackles the tale as old as time: when two people don’t like each other, but just need to be with someone. Fitting, considering the track’s Drake feel. That said, you can hardly box Jarl into being just a copy of someone else. He’s proven time and time again his artistic take on hip-hop and ‘Hvort Annað’ is just another step up. HJC
Read more about Icelandic music here.