From Iceland — Grapevine New Music Picks: Nanna, Benni Hemm Hemm, Ægir, Yaffle ft. KARÍTAS, Sakaris and The Cult Of One!

Grapevine New Music Picks: Nanna, Benni Hemm Hemm, Ægir, Yaffle ft. KARÍTAS, Sakaris and The Cult Of One!

Published January 13, 2023

Grapevine New Music Picks: Nanna, Benni Hemm Hemm, Ægir, Yaffle ft. KARÍTAS, Sakaris and The Cult Of One!
Photo by
Angela Ricciardi

BUMPER NEW MUSIC FRIDAY. That’s right, there were so many great releases (including Nanna from Of Monsters And Men’s first single from her debut record!) this week that we had literally no choice but to expand on our usual three picks and throw in a few more gems for your listening pleasure. Sure, that’s hyperbole, but what are you gonna do, sue us? (Please don’t.)

Benni Hemm Hemm — Benni Hemm Hemm & The Melting Diamond Band IV
Out January 13

Benni Hemm Hemm is back with his second album in as many years. What an industrious man! This new five-track work is quite different in character from 2022’s “Lending,” but is of the same high quality that we’ve come to expect from Benni. The first track, “Morning,” is a dreamy, almost entirely instrumental number, spacious in a way that’s reminiscent of post-rock. JG

Nanna — Godzilla
Out January 13

Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir, known for her vocal work as part of the Icelandic band Of Monsters and Men, has announced the release of her debut single “Godzilla.” Despite the ominous title, the track brings a sense of peace. Written and recorded in a small cabin outside Reykjavík, “Godzilla” captures an intimate moment of the artist’s life — described by Nanna herself as a chaotic yet calm period. Fans have taken to Instagram to express their excitement for Nanna’s return to her solo career, with one commentator calling her an “enlightenment” and a “sweet dark ego killer for my soul.” It seems that Nanna is ready for a long solo journey, and we cannot wait to join her. IZ

Ægir — accepting uncertainty
Out January 12

It’s only been four months since Ægir Sindri Bjarnason last graced us with an album, but somehow, in between running a venue, producing other peoples’ records and playing in numerous bands around town, Ægir has managed to put together this five track gem. Do you even sleep, Ægir? Like its predecessors, ‘accepting uncertainty’ is a dive into industrial noise and dark ambient, but the addition of vocals from Ægir’s partner MSEA (Maria-Carmela Raso) on the title track and ‘devastating insomnia’ elevates the EP and gives it a central sound to gravitate around. That being said, opening track ‘submit to the rhythm of your speech’ remains my favourite. JG

Sakaris — You Complete Me
Out January 13

“You Complete Me” is the first single from Sakaris’s upcoming EP, ‘Domestik Disco 106,’ out January 20. What can we say? It’s a real banger! Both the track and the video are a true gem. Upbeat tempo, catchy lyrics and retro synths and aesthetics will make you press that repeat button. “You Complete Me” will surely get people on the dance floor. Us? We’re off to the weekend thinking about what our chances are to find someone who will complete us like “a nail in a coffin.” IZ

Yaffle ft. KARÍTAS — Storm
Out January 13

Honey-toned Icelandic singer KARÍTAS has teamed up with renowned J-pop producer Yuki Kojima, better known as Yaffle for latest single “Storm.” And it’s a doozy. Not that we’d expect anything less from such an esteemed hit-maker, but the resulting track ticks all the boxes — almost too perfectly. In fact, if I had any criticisms is that “Storm” is just a touch too polished. But that’s a tiny gripe. It’s awesome to see these sorts of international collaborations pan out for Icelandic artists, and we have no doubt that with THAT voice, there’s only more like this in store for our dear KARÍTAS.JG

The Cult Of One — Monomaniac
Out January 13

Henrik Björnsson, of Singapore Sling fame, is back with a new album from his solo project, The Cult Of One. But, “this has nothing to do with Singapore Sling,” Henrik assures us. And what is a cult of one if not a monomaniac? Henrik leans into classic rock and roll hedonism with tracks like “Suck Fucker” and “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” but its sentiments like “Down With The General Shite” that we can really get behind. Amen to that. If you want a chance to hear ‘Monomaniac’ in person, we recommend you get down to Húrra tonight for a concert that will blow your socks off. JG

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