Published May 27, 2005
The recent documentary on Icelandic music avoids mentioning this band, which is one of the most popular in Iceland. Which got us to thinking, maybe Í Svörtum Fötum is doing something right. Yes, they are considered a Sveitaballa (country dance) band, which is something like being labelled VH1-fodder, so hipsters of Reykjavík want nothing to do with them. There may be another problem in that the lyrics to Í Svörtum Fötum songs are loaded with things like dreams and kiss me and phrases one usually wouldn’t use without irony. Honestly, we can’t compliment the songwriting all that highly: chord progressions are in the obvious category, and the beats are droning. And the tendency to add vocal effects and strings and call things a chorus is tiring. However, let’s point out something that are commendable in Í Svörtum Fötum’s latest effort. First off, lead singer Jonsi has a natural tenor and remarkably good diction—for foreigners, drunks and children, Icelandic requires clear enunciation. Also, this well-travelled band keeps songs tight, and on occasion layer their keys and guitars nicely. There is room in this world for good-natured, well-produced pop, and on songs like Vaknaðu, Í Svörtum Fötum produces this. Also, did we mention this band wasn’t featured in Gargandi Snilld?
Worth four beers. Costs four beers.