From Iceland — Grapevine New Music Picks: JFDR, Emilíana Torrini, Drengurinn fengurinn & More

Grapevine New Music Picks: JFDR, Emilíana Torrini, Drengurinn fengurinn & More

Published February 17, 2023

Grapevine New Music Picks: JFDR, Emilíana Torrini, Drengurinn fengurinn & More
Photo by
Joana Fontinha

With the sun making a rare appearance in Reykjavík this February, the Grapevine team has unanimously decided to embrace a “low-key Friday” mood. Whether you had a long week at school, your boss keeps being a dictator, you’re in post-Valentine’s Day tension with your partner, or … [insert your option here], one thing is clear — the winter is coming to an end, so at least things will get warmer from here. Monday might bring new hustles and challenges (but also bollur!), and for now, our tip is to soothe your mind and soul with our curated selection of ultimately chill new Icelandic music. Follow our Spotify playlist for more!


JFDR – Spectator
Out February 14

There’s no other way to say this: this track is brutal. Not as in “bad” — exactly the opposite. Unbearably beautiful. Quietly heart shattering. Ethereally gut wrenching. This lead single from JFDR’s upcoming album ‘Museum’ (out April 28th) is a deeply honest self-reflective ode to the codependent and those who have been robbed of the space to experience their own emotions. The song builds intricately into a subtle intensity that will make you look like that emoji with two blue lines of tears pouring down its face. The accompanying video by former Grapevine photog Timothee Lambrecq makes us very proud, too! RX


Eydís Evensen – Tephra Horizon
Out February 17

Ushering in Eydís Evensen’s fourth album, lead single ‘Tephra Zone’ is a delicate, movie soundtrack-esque neo-classical number, fitting for these soft-lighted days and still-early sunsets. Eydís herself says she poured her whole heart into it, and you can feel it, because from the very first notes no one escapes the song’s charged intensity. After a long day, the melodramatic sounds of the various instruments thrill you. GVDM


Emilíana Torrini & The Colorist Orchestra – Hilton
Out February 14

Emilíana Torrini brightens up our Friday this week with her new single ‘Hilton’. Featuring the Belgian chamber pop duo The Colorist Orchestra, ‘Hilton’ is an exquisite pop song. Emilíana has stated the song was written to the rhythm of droplets while she was bathing at the Hilton Hotel in Brighton. Stompy and synthy, the song underscore Emilíana’s creative talents. Her strong percussive element is prominent, melodically intertwined with The Colorist Orchestra’s performance. Run yourself a bubble bath, maybe some red wine, and sway in beat to the water. JB


Hera Lind – 365 Days
Out February 11

With ‘365 Days,’ newcomer Hera Lind releases her first single. Produced by Baldvin Hlynsson and supported by musicians Hugrún Elfa Sigurðardóttir and Kristinn Snær Agnarsson, immediately gives the young Hera an endorsement of what she has to offer. Although this love song seems like one of so many, she breaks the stigma with her fragile voice that will send chills down your spine. The soft strings that introduce the song immediately engulfs you with a sense of calm and forms the ideal note to start your day with a hot cup of coffee during these cold, dark winter days. GVDM


Yaffle – After The Chaos
Out February 17

Legendary J-pop producer Youki Kojima, AKA Yaffle, utilises the craft of three Icelandic musicians on his recent LP, After the Chaos. Musicians RAKEL, CeaseTone, and KARÍTAS showcase feature on separate tracks, each adding their unique vocal styles to Yaffle’s low-key, comforting chamber-electronica. Aside from the featured Icelandic artists, (and one sun by Benny Sings,) the instrumental album is a delicate and engaging mix of chill yet intricate compositions. Feels like it would be both great for studying and sex. A rare combo, we must say. JB/RX


Drengurinn fengurinn – Dónakallin í tunglinu
Out February 17

Back with an album for the little imp inside us all, multi-disciplinary artist Egill Jónasson a.k.a. Drengurinn fengurinn just dropped this collection of weirdo arty synthpunk. Giving very 80s NYC no-wave energy, the down-tempo yet bouncy tracks tackle heavy subjects like forgetting about a dream you had, and buying chips and dip at the shop. Roughly translated to “the pervert in the moon” or “the asshole in the moon”, it’s a pretty solid representation of how the music feels — playful and edgy and a little bit sleazy. RX

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