In Icelandic mythology, a Marbendill is the male version of a mermaid. It’s also the pseudonym of up and coming DJ, artist, graphic designer, and man-about town Þrándur Jóhannsson. We asked him to come to surface and talk us through some of the Icelandic songs that have helped shape his taste.
Apparat Organ Quartet – 123 Forever:
Have you ever wondered how to start a band? Jóhann Jóhannsson’s old band, Apparat Organ Quartet, might teach you a thing or two with this song. This song has a bit slow and beautiful buildup but a great pay off.
Björk – Arabadrengurinn
Everyone knows that Björk is one of Iceland’s greatest artists, but not everyone knows about her self titled album from 1977. The album mainly contains some Beatles covers, but also this groovie fun song about young love that’s gonna be stuck in your head for weeks.
Sykur – Loving None
From the day I first heard a song by Sykur I have been a big fan of they’re music. “Loving None” is the first single from their upcoming album, and this song got me really excited for the return of Sykur.
Trabant – The One
When I was asked to make this playlist I knew I wanted it to feature a Trabant song but it was hard to choose between “Nasty Boy,” “María” and “The One.” I decided to choose “The One”—even though it’s a bit simple, it really makes you feel the emotions of the song.
Johnny Blaze & Hakki Brakes – WD-40
Johnny Blaze & Hakki Brakes are definitely the coolest guys in the Icelandic music scene today. “WD-40” is a single from their debut album ‘Vroom Vroom Vroom.’ I really recommend listening to it when you’re driving your car at sunset. The video for “WD-40” is a must watch—it’s a VR video.
KRELD & Jófríður – Way Low
This is one of the most beautiful songs that has come out of the Icelandic music scene for the past years, and I don’t think it’s getting the attention it deserves. I could listen to this song on repeat for a whole day and still love it.
Sísý Ey – Ain’t Got Nobody
Once a big hit in Iceland, this one has now almost been forgotten with time. But it still really holds up. It’s my favorite song to dance away heartbreak. I really hope to hear more from Sísiý Ey soon.
Hermigervill – Disco Borealis
Hermigervill has been writing and producing the most fun electro-dance music in the Icelandic music scene for years, so I really wanted to give one of his newest songs a shout out.
Grýlurnar – Sísí
What I really love about this song is the fun energy that get everybody moving and makes everyone think they can speak French for few minutes. This is probably Iceland’s greatest punk/dance song.
Retro Stefson – Skin
Sadly this was one of Retro Stefson’s last singles, but it quickly became one of my favorite songs by them. Like much of Retro Stefson’s output, it’s just a groovy fun time, and makes you remember how much of a treasure Unnsteinn is, and makes you wish you had swagger like him.