Old favourites Bárujárn, who haven’t been active for quite a few years, returned last week out of the blue with a brand new song and video. Those who’ve read our column before know our affection for their unique brand of surf rock with a twist: the most magical instrument ever invented, the theremin. The new song is called “Vopnafjörður,” after a fjord in the east of Iceland whose name literally translates as “Weapons fjörd.” There is nothing new in Bárujárn’s formula, but we just never get tired of it. It’s like The Shadows with a darker shade of sunglasses playing in the night-time on an Icelandic wasteland. And the video has a girl running through a harsh landscape and eventually doing impressionistic dancing in the shore of an archetypical Icelandic black sand beach.
Newcomer and extremely young rapper Smjörvi just put out the summer jam for the season, titled “Sweeter than the Summer.” The beat has bright sparkling synths and steel drum-like rhythms, and the chorus captures perfectly the feeling of having a beer on a rooftop in the afternoon sun after a trip to the swimming pool. The video has him juggling pineapples, eating them, and kicking them around like hacky sacks. It doesn’t get any more summery than this, and we will sure be blasting the song in public parks, barbecue parties and camping trips all summer.
About a week after these words come out of the printing press marks the start of the Secret Solstice Festival. The four-day music extravaganza is held outdoors in Laugardalur from June 15-18, and has over the past years gained a spot in the calendar as something to look forward to. We’re excited about the hip-hop/funk of anderson.paak, the house antics of Black Madonna, the fitness of Roots Manuva and the youthful sass of Princess Nokia—just to name a few of the great lesser-known acts, of which there are many.
And last but not least: Self-promotion! We will be hosting a series of concerts this summer in cooperation with the arthouse cinema Bíó Paradís. The first one will be on June 8, featuring Straumur favourites Andi and TSS. We’ve talked about Andi many times before in this column and his playful Italo-inspired electro pop always brings a smile to our faces—and made for the second-best album of last year, according to our unerring opinion. TSS is the solo project of Nonni, one half of Nolo, and his hazy approach to psychedelic pop is uniquely his own. We expect the best from both of those artists and for you, dear readers, to show up and show some love.