Like a continent-sized ocean of lava spewing forth from the molten core of the Earth, here’s the new Grapevine Playlist: your regular update on the eternally renewable resource of the Icelandic music scene.
Indriði – Amma
Like an Icelandic Kurt Vile, Indriði’s solo work is very different to the aggressive metal he makes as part of Muck. He drawls his way through the melodious, easygoing “Amma,” which is a song that’s as much about the classic, reassuring mood of indie-Americana than anything else. More will be revealed this year on his new album ‘Ding Ding.’ JR
Ólafur Arnalds – re:member
From rock drummer to BAFTA-winning composer to techno star as one half of Kiasmos, Ólafur Arnalds’ star seems to rise and rise indefinitely. His latest release is very much in his house style, with delicate piano, spidery strings and dramatic, atmospheric swells. It’s a tried-and-tested sound, but the world seems hungry for more Ólafur. JR
Dulvitund – Í Höfðinu Á Mér
Dulvitund’s new song is more catchy and accessible than his previous efforts. There are still the cold, dark and ambient synth layers, but this time, they swirl around a simple distorted vocal melody. The song carries the listener through a blurry dream of comfortable depression. It’ll stay in your head for a while. PW
María Viktoría – Rainy Rurrenabaque
A regular guest at songwriter evenings and a constant live performer, María Viktoría should be much more well-known. This song could help with its youthful melody that wraps the listener into a comfy sweater of innocent pleasure. If you want to feel like being on holidays in South America, listen out for the trumpets. PW
Birgir – Home
The radio hit of the issue goes to Birgir. It’s a soft production with a vocal faintly reminiscent of Michael Bublé and a chorus that would make any folk-indie fan happy. This is the perfect mixture for your soundtrack to the upcoming Icelandic summer—still hoping—or the next Coca-Cola advertisement. PW
Morpholith – Voidwalker
This 12-minute nightmare of slow, crushing riffs is like cold water on a hot day for the Icelandic doom metal scene. The vocals vary between singing and hellish screams, and are rather far back in the mix, giving the song an old-school flair. The mid-song tempo change and the following breakdown make “Voidwalker” a must-hear. My neck hurts already. PW
Illuminine – Atlas Eye (Alex Somers rework)
Sigur Rós collaborator and the “Alex” in Jónsi & Alex, Alex Somers, reworks a track by Illumine into a grand, shimmering composition with a rich, deep sound. You can see Illuminine play live at Iðnó on April 18th. JR
Read more about Icelandic music here.