From Iceland — Grapevine Playlist: Bashar Murad, Oscar Leone, Birnir, Páll Óskar & More!

Grapevine Playlist: Bashar Murad, Oscar Leone, Birnir, Páll Óskar & More!

Grapevine Playlist: Bashar Murad, Oscar Leone, Birnir, Páll Óskar & More!

Published January 15, 2021

Hannah Jane Cohen
Photo by
Fadi Dahabreh

Music—have you of it? Here’s some of our favourite tracks from the last month.

Bashar Murad – MASKHARA


Bashar Murad—who you might know from his collaborations with Hatari and appearance at Airwaves 2019—is here to sway away the bullshit. This track, which feels super groovy until you see the lyrics, invites you into Bashar’s soul as a young queer man in occupied Palestine, navigating mental health, the lethargic chaos, and the overwhelming hopelessness of living in such a situation. That said, there’s a somewhat sanguine vibe to the whole thing, which is fully actualised in the video that includes some stellar greenscreen work by Grapevine Award Winners Rough Cult. In particular, there’s a rather moving shot of Bashar grooving in front of Israel’s famed “security fence” while it tumbles down. Let’s hope that becomes a reality one day. HJC

Sycamore Tree – Western Sessions


Look, I’m a simple girl. Put Águsta Eva in a cowboy hat and I’m there. In fact, we’re all there. Please donate to our crowdfunding campaign to get Sycamore Tree to play at the upcoming Grapevine sveitaball. Low key though, I enjoy this new EP. It’s got all you need from country style music—dramatic lyrics about loss and homecoming, that thing they do where they raise the note at the end of the note and even a harmonica!! Yee-haw Gústa!!! HJC

Crystallized – Bomarz & GDRN


If you feel like you need more sugar in your life but you’re way into your keto diet, “Crystallized” is the remedy. A solid pop track with Iceland’s biggest pop star GDRN singing and promising producer Bomarz, this song is bound to be played every hour on FM957 and some dramatic teens will definitely find meaning in the text. That’s a good thing, if you weren’t sure. VG

Oscar Leone – Aloha


“Aloha” is solid indie-country with a hint of Britpop—kind of like if Arcade Fire did an Oasis cover. Still Oscar manages to take it further with his own chilled, characteristic charm, serving up a warm and friendly ambience that we are grateful for in the midst of this pandemic. VG

Birnir & Páll Óskar – Spurningar


Asking the big questions aren’t you? A slow-burn melancholic dance song about love. Great song to cry in the shower to without arousing suspicion. HJC

Like the songs? Follow our weekly playlist, where we add the best and brightest of Icelandic music.

Note: Due to the effect the Coronavirus is having on tourism in Iceland, it’s become increasingly difficult for the Grapevine to survive. If you enjoy our content and want to help the Grapevine’s journalists do things like eat and pay rent, please consider joining our High Five Club.

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