“Hipsumhaps is a word that we thought described the band perfectly,” Jökull Breki Arnarson explains. Along with his collaborator Fannar Ingi Friðþjófsson, Jökull is sitting back in his grandparents’ garage, which they’ve turned into a makeshift studio. “It’s a word that doesn’t know where it’s going or what it’s doing. You can’t define it. It’s kind of random, unsure of itself and unclear.”
But while their name is unsure or unclear, the band’s debut this summer was anything but. The two burst onto the scene only months ago with a slew of popular singles, including “Lífið sem mig langar í” and “Honný,” which preceded the release of their first album, ‘Best Gleymdu Leyndarmálin’ (‘Best Forgotten Secrets’) on September 22nd.
With every release, the duo repeatedly established themselves as something fresh. Their mix of dreamy, lo-fi indie laced guitar-driven pop is irresistibly catchy. ‘Best Gleymdu Leyndarmálin’ is the perfect album to play whether you’re at a chill party or driving down Sæbraut at 21:00 in the evening in an intense downpour.
The pair have known each other for a long time, having first met when Fannar worked as a group leader at Jökull’s summer job in 2013. Over the years, they formed a tight friendship. Fannar began to take notice of Jökull’s musical ability, though, when the latter took part in Verzlunarskólinn’s singing competition Vælið.
“I had no idea that Jökull could sing,” Fannar says. “He sent me recordings of him singing two songs, some song by Elvis Presley, and ‘To Build A Home’ by The Cinematic Orchestra, which I was blown away by. I was so excited for him.”
Jökull went on to win Vælið but dropped out of Verzlunarskólinn the following December. “After dropping out I started working on music and producing for Flóni,” he explains. “I produced quite a lot of his first album, which was a lot of fun. I am honoured to have been part of that project.”
After wrapping with Flóni, Jökull joined up with Fannar and they started Hipsumhaps, beginning their album approximately a year ago. “We went to a summer cottage in July and recorded a lot of material there,” Fannar says. “It was an important moment for us because we tracked guitar and vocals for the song ‘Augu’ there. It is my favourite song on the album because of that.”
‘Augu’ is the 8th song on the album, and one of its more heartfelt tracks. The song speaks of relationship troubles and wanting something that “…just won’t ever happen.” Driven by a reverb guitar riff, 90s-Esque electronic drums and a synth which kicks in about halfway through the song, it has a childlike optimistic quality about it.
Though the last few months have undoubtedly hectic for the duo, Hipsumhaps seem ready and eager to take on the music landscape headfirst. While their album might call them a best-forgotten secret, it’s clear they are anything but.
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