Published December 5, 2017
From glitch-moons to cartoon doodles, abstract paint swirls and a lush sci-fi utopia, here are five new Icelandic music videos worth spending your coffee break on.
Hekla – To The Moon
The music of Iceland’s ever-enigmatic theremin genius Hekla sounds like it should be soundtracking a spectral sci-fi cult classic. Her latest video fits the bill, with Hekla’s minimal composition “To The Moon” playing over a flickering glitch-moon created by Corey Johnson. Hear more from Hekla at Bandcamp.
Björk – Utopia
Much has been made of the concepts contained in Björk’s new LP, ‘Utopia.’ Amongst a tangle of narratives that includes deep dives into the classic subjects of love, loss, recovery and selfhood, the vision of a utopian feminist island has also been mooted in interviews. In this latest video trailer, that idyllic aspect of the album springs to life as Björk and her tribe of flautists luxuriate amidst glittering, verdant sci-fi vegetation. You can also see the video for “Blissing Me,” which takes more of an Apple Store approach to visualising utopia, here.
Teitur Magnusson – Hringaná
At the opposite end of the spectrum is a lo-fi animated video for “Hringaná,” the title track of the latest LP by Iceland’s king-of-mellow Teitur Magnusson. The song is based on a poem by poet, author and naturalist Jónas Hallgrímsson (1817-45). As a non-Icelandic-speaker, I must assume the doodled visuals are a literal interpretation, and Jónas’s poem is about clouds that rain musical notation, and having your big toe lopped off with giant scissors.
Högni – Komðu Með
Never one to shy away from a big concept or seven, Högni’s latest video sees him cast as a lonely outback wanderer in the wilderness who stumbles across a mysterious lake. The video “tells the story of a castaway seeking shelter as he attempts to escape the past,” explains Högni. “Crumbling and fatigued he stumbles upon a lake from which he decides to drink. Suffice to say it has its consequences.” Read our in-depth interview with Högni, which deals with creativity, mental illness, self-consciousness and his ‘Two Trains’ LP, here.
Gyða Valtýsdóttir – Louange à l’éternité de Jésus
The millenia-spanning ‘Epicycle’ is a quite spectacular album that reinterprets some gems of classical music from throughout history in Gyða’s unique style. Now, one of the chosen pieces—Olivier Messiaen’s “Louange à l’éternité de Jésus,” performed here with Shahzad Ismaily on guitar—has a fittingly beautiful video of dark, abstract paint swirls, directed by Perry Hall.
You can also see Gyða busting some moves in this new video by her figureight label-mate Aron Roche, and see her perform live at the Norður go Niður festival this December.
Read more about Icelandic music here.