From Iceland — Grapevine Playlist: Vök, Rebekka Blöndal, Matthías Hemstock, And More!

Grapevine Playlist: Vök, Rebekka Blöndal, Matthías Hemstock, And More!

Published September 3, 2021

Grapevine Playlist: Vök, Rebekka Blöndal, Matthías Hemstock, And More!
Photo by
Sigga Ella

Vök – “No Coffee At The Funeral”

If you understand the importance of coffee in the fabric of Icelandic culture, then the title of this song will make sense as a metaphor for the painful absence of something essential. Grieving loss is an experience common to all shades of humanity, and here singer Margrét Rán gives a strong yet fragile voice to the emotions of that process. Musically, washes of synth and a minor-key feel suggest the sense of hazy numbness that can accompany the loss of a loved one. And, in a nod to the musical motif of Margrét’s recent work with electro-legends GusGus, stabbing synths evoke arpeggiated visions of the early 80s. JP

Rebekka Blöndal, Matthías Hemstock, Sigmar Matthíasson & Ásgeir Ásgeirsson – “If”

Lena Horne made for the modern day is what you’re signing up for when checking out “If” by Rebekka Blöndal. This is the song your grandparents fell in love to, swaying to the tune in sepia tone. Her honey-laden voice sounds how drinking a warm cup of tea feels — delightful, comforting and, in a way, curative. Is it too soon to start a petition to remake La La Land with Rebekka in the lead role? DT

Two Toucans – “Frozen Bones”

With a beat that’s just lively enough to keep your head nodding along and subdued vocals that allow you to sit back and vibe the whole way through, this is exactly the song you want playing in the cab on the way home from the club. This sibling duo harmonises these two aspects in the way only people who sprung from the same gene pool can. They’re like the Billie and Finneas Eilish of Iceland, but make it hip hop — and even dreamier. Completely unrelated to the fact that these lyrics have been on loop in my head all day but I, for one, am addicted to this song’s presence. DT

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