Kristján Eldjárn rose to prominence as one of the producers behind SYKUR, one of Iceland’s most explosive electronic pop party bands, whose new single “Loving None” was recently released. He also performs solo as KRELD, including the release of a brilliant and compulsive first single, “Way Low,” with an appearance from JFDR as a guest vocalist. In his artist playlist, he shares his favourite recent songs from the Icelandic music scene.
Bagdad Brothers – Malar í kassanum
Although sadly not on Spotify (yet?) there’s a great video on youtube. It’s soft, baby-making pop from a weird-ass Icelandic reality. The opening lines (You want french fries, I want to go home with you) grab you immediately, and it only gets better from there.
aYia – Sparkle
aYia are one of the most exciting bands currently active in Iceland. With their super intricate productions and Ásta Fanney’s dreamy vocals, “Sparkle” is the latest in a series of sublime singles they’ve released. I’m ready for that LP now, if you would, please.
Sin Fang, Sóley, Örvar Smárason – Random Haiku Generator
A great pop song from three great artists. It’s super chill melancholia, perfect for listening to while driving down a forested mountain during a colourful sunset.
Andy Svarthol – Tímafrekja
I loved Andy Svarthol’s first single, “Írena Sírena,” and this one is more of the same, but perhaps a little bit more nuanced. A part of it may be the fact that I miss the rokk.is era in Icelandic music, and Andy Svarthol reminds me of that, for some reason. There’s a very charming homebrew vibe going on here.
Sóley – Úa
Sóley’s second appearance on this list. The chord progression in the verse is unconventional, almost jarring, but stunningly pretty. There is a specific sense of melancholy in the verse that reminds me of Danny Elfman’s “Ice Dance” from the Edward Scissorhands soundtrack.
JFDR – White Ferrari
A really pretty single from one of my favourite Icelandic artists. White Ferrari is more produced than her last album, losing some of the indie-ness, but gaining new kinds of subtleties instead.
Sunna – Amma (SYKUR remix)
Just to be a little self-serving. Us SYKUR kids recently reworked Sunna’s (previously of Bloodgroup) latest single, “Amma,” and I really enjoyed working on it. The original song is a haunting acapella, which we kind of inundated with synths and gave it a pretty chill vibe.