Like thirty seven orcas breaching in unison under the swirling aurora at the exact moment that geysir goes off, here are the latest magical offerings from the Icelandic music scene.
Berndsen – Alter Ego
Iceland’s bushy-bearded hunk of synth-pop lovin’, Berndsen, has finally unveiled his long awaited new album to the waiting world. With soft-focus textures and languid rhythms, “Alter Ego” is, as promised, an exploration of mature themes. It also contains some mature references: try and spot the influence of various ‘80s pop titans as you listen. JR
Iris Thorarins – Yggdrasill
On Menningarnótt 2018, composer Iris Thorarins created an intricate soundscape for a 370 square metre public art installation inspired by three Nordic worlds: Paradise, Hel and Yggdrasill. Each world got its own song, which was recently released on an EP. “Yggdrasill”—inspired by the mythical tree—uses string drones and airy effects to create something distinctly otherworldly. Beauty incarnate. HJC
Axel Flóvent – Years
Growing up in a fishing village of 2,000 people in the North of Iceland seems to pay off. Axel Flóvent’s new goosebump-inducing song “Years” delivers the perfect package for sitting dreamily in the bus, staring out of the raindrop-strewn window. Fragile, catchy and uplifting at the same time. CS
Bistro Boy – Ljósbrot
Bistro Boy has been fusing classical flourishes with electronica since before Kiamos made it almost nearly kind-of cool. His latest single has a pleasing psychedelic-nature video, and the track mixes string arrangements with smooth electronic textures. We’d be down with him buying a distortion plugin, but it’s some chill, pleasant stuff in the contemporary mood music genre. JR
RONNY – 99
RONNY is the new rap project from beat-maker beatmachinearon. While the song is somewhat generic trap, his previous work is so beautiful that we can’t help but be excited to see where he goes with it. Hopefully this song is a fluke and he’ll integrate his delicate and unexpected beats into upcoming releases. Please listen to us, RONNY. HJC
ROKKY – My Lips
From RONNY to ROKKY, (We just need ROMMY and ROLLY for K-through-N alphabetical twinsies tour) “My Lips” is a too-cool-for-school dance party banger that has a lash of Marie Davidson and a smudge of Miss Kitten. It’s the first single, in this incarnation, from Ragnheiður Haraldsdóttir, and it’s out in a couple of weeks. JR
GusGus – Don’t Know How To Love
GusGus’ upbeat new single has that 80s techno feel. The lyrics deal with a pretty serious topic: knowing how to love, or, as the artist puts it, “knowing how not to love.” Loving is learning, and a work in progress. Meaningful, yet somewhat easy-going—that’s GusGus. CS
Fufanu – Chop Chop
With their ‘Dialogue Series’ EP, Fufanu embrace musical pluralism by making music you might not expect from them. “Chop Chop,” for example, rather than being slick indie rock, is a techno tune that wouldn’t sound out of place coming from hipster techno label bbbbbb. We support you, Fufanu—be yourself, cut loose, fuck the genre police. JR
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