Buck the algorithm, and let The Grapevine pick your playlist.
Kælan Mikla – Sólstöður
This track demonstrates that Kælan Mikla keeps evolving in ever-improving directions. Slaps like a funeral dirge but carries the power of a blizzard on the horizon heading quickly your way. We have long been fans of Kælan Mikla, and we were absolutely right to tell you that this is the band to keep your eye on. Keep following—more surprises are surely in store. ASF
Viktor Orri Árnason – Eilífur: IX. Var—Er
“Var – Er” is the first single from Icelandic contemporary composer’s Viktor Orri Árnason’s debut PENTATONE album, which, as he explains, explores the concept of living forever. But this is no triumphant fountain of youth extravaganza, no it’s an eerie, everlasting and enchanting orchestral work featuring a droning men’s choir (a heavily underused instrument imo) and an overall aura of meditative resignation. Who wants to live forever? Potentially not Viktor. HJC
Eivør – Gullspunnin
Eivør, despite being from the Faroe Islands, was quickly adopted by Iceland when it became clear that she is a vocalist of unparalleled talent. At her very best, her voice is backed by music that gives her the chance to exercise the full strength of her range, and “Gullspunnin” is definitely one of those songs. An ethereal rush that washes over you like the ocean as the tide comes in, you would do well to make this your new crying-in-the-bathtub track. ASF
Kristín Sesselja – W.A.I.S.T.D. (What Am I Supposed To Do)
Kristín Sesselja kicked ass and took names last year with the insanely catchy “Fuckboys,” a middle-finger to misbehaving males everywhere. Then as the year turned, she topped the airplay charts at RÚV’s Rás 2 radio station with the balladic “Earthquake,” presciently preceding Iceland’s real-life shakes. Coming back strong with a heavier sound and a darker vibe, sassy Sesselja is in no mood for honey and candy floss lyrics. “I write a lot of sad songs, it’s kinda my thing” she sings. Keep it up Kristín – that, and the ass-kicking. Oh, and the earthquake predictions. JP
Laufey – Best Friend
Not to be confused with the Toybox banger, “Best Friend” is like if Amanda Palmer made a wholesome PG track for the credit scene of a Disney movie. A love letter to her best friend—despite all her flaws, such as her hairdo—it’s Laufey’s smiley take on rockabilly that truly stands out here. D’aww! HJC
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