From Iceland — Song Of The Year: Vesturbæjar Beach

Song Of The Year: Vesturbæjar Beach

Song Of The Year: Vesturbæjar Beach

Published January 7, 2022

Valur Grettisson
Photo by
Magnús Andersen
Ugla Hauksdóttir

The song Vesturbæjar Beach by BSÍ is not only our Song Of The Year. It is, in some ways, the most telling song about the COVID year of 2021. It describes awful summers in Iceland, as well as the will to do the best in whatever the situation is. It was also a break-out track for a new band that has become one of the most exciting in Iceland; an incredible fact, if only for the reason that the two band members—Silla and Julius—had no idea how to play instruments when they started the band.

“It’s never really summer in Iceland,” Silla explains, and adds that the song was a humorous attempt to create more summer for her homeland. The video itself underlines this, with hilarious settings where the bandmates try to sunbathe on roundabouts in crappy weather.

Silla and Julius didn’t expect that the song would get the attention it did in Iceland, and Silla actually first noticed it when she was at a family reunion.

“Then someone asked, so you’re making music?” Silla says and laughs. “And I didn’t really understand what was going on until some nieces and nephews started talking about it.”

The band just released their album—’Stundum Þunglynd…En Alltaf Andfasísk’ (“Sometimes Depressed… But Always Antifascist”) and they are already preparing to release more music.

“We are working on something,” Silla answers the journalist cautiously when asked if more is on its way. Whatever the plan is, the band is now on the map, and nephews and nieces are paying attention, as well as the nation.

Honourable mentions: Á hnjánum – Hipsumhaps, Skin – Vök, Manstu – kef Lavík, russian.girls – Halda áfram, SKRATTAR – Drullusama

PANEL:
Alexander Jean de Fontenay – Music expert, DJ and Graphic designer
Arnar Eggert Thoroddsen – Journalist and PhD in Socio-musicology
Hannah Jane Cohen – Former cultural editor at Reykjavík Grapevine and performing artist
Nína Richter – Cultural journalist at Fréttablaðið and a musician
Valur Grettisson – Editor-in-chief at The Reykjavík Grapevine

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