Happy summer! You know what goes great with summer? Music! Also vaccines!
Pale Moon – Parachutes
Just in time for summer (ok Icelandic summer), Pale Moon has blessed us with what is perhaps the most perfect driving-in-the-sunlight track ever made. Genuinely, if this song were to be made physical, it’d be a sandcastle. A swaying, upbeat, sing-a-long hippie ditty about summer adventures with your partner-in-crime, “Parachutes” evokes that elusive late afternoon sun-drunk feeling, even in today’s horrible foggy weather. Pale Moon has long flown under the radar in the local music scene, and we can only hope that this summer offers such delightful weather that this track gets the radio play it deserves. HJC
BSÍ – Vesturbæjar Beach
“Vesturbæjar Beach” is a wonderful feel-good indie song that (we’re positive) would be the soundtrack to the summer if only we lived in a country where people did that. It’s a groovy, bouncy effort that will no doubt grace the weekend speakers of Húrra circa 21:00 (when everyone is totally happy-drunk) provided Húrra reopens soon (which it should). Also—the video is basically as krútt as you can get without being cavity-inducing, which means we love it because dammit, we deserve to be happy too. VG
Kef LAVÍK – María (útsett fyrir þrjá)
Kef LAVÍK already has an almost cult-like status in the Icelandic music scene and never fear—they don’t let anyone down with this soulful-highly-vocalised-party-electro-pop-did-we-mention-party track. It’s a nice hit that will definitely be one that their fans will scream-sing at their next live performance, which will be, you know, whenever we are allowed… VG
PORT – Prussian Blue
Did you know that doctors actually use pills filled with Prussian Blue pigment to treat heavy metal poisoning? What a fun fact, yes? Anyway, while Port is far from heavy metal, their new album ‘Prussian Blue’ is definitely a welcome funky reprieve from the heaviness of the world right now. While the album is still, unmistakably, goth, it’s fun in a way that brings you back to those nostalgic goth club nights, where you could, you know, gather in public. Tbh, we’re kind of tired of being sad goths and are ready to become sexy and mysterious goths once again. “Prussian Blue”—from which the album is named—is a favourite of mine. It’s kind of like if a very happy Joy Division went to a goth club in Beirut and then had to accompany the belly dancers there after having taken a plethora of downers. Follow me? “Hats” is another standout. Especially if you want to get your roommate high and then fuck with them and make them think they are being tracked by aliens in a late-90s vampire film. This is the track for that. Make sure to put your leather trench coat. HJC
Lord Pusswhip – Reykjavík ‘93
Let’s just start with the basics. ‘Reykjavik ‘93’ will likely be my favourite electro-album of the year. It’s brilliant—a fascinating fusion of old-school hardcore from the 90s and modern tones that took me by surprise. And therein lies the magic of Lord Pusswhip. He takes what you already know, fucks around with it, and then adds some unexpected extra magic that you would have never imagined. I can’t praise this album enough, and while I am perhaps too old for it, let me just break out the glow stick and start raving. VG
DJ Muscleboy & Manswess – Dangerous Love
[Editor’s Note: Our beloved journalist Owen is a devoted Muscleboy-head.]
DJ Muscleboy, the most respected DJ in the world, is back again to blow up your speakers with his latest smash hit “Dangerous Love.” The song gently eases you in with some 80’s style synth beats before letting loose into some banging hairstyle beats. Don’t expect to get much of a break from the raving as in true Muscleboy fashion, the track ends with the classic big room EDM melody that we’ve all come to expect from the 95kgs of pure meat that is DJ Muscleboy. Dance and rave, until it is done. OT
Sigurður Guðmundsson – Kappróður
Sigurður saddles up and takes us on this gentle canter through his particular region of country music; all soft brushed snare coaxing along understated basswork, and smooth guitar pickings underpinning a vulnerable vocal. Apparently the song concerns “the ephemerality of everyday things – the beauty of haddock, common sense and our human race.” Quite. The track’s fish reference went over my head, but the beauty of this piece of music is undeniable. JP
Blankiflúr – Hypnopompic
Over the course of its nine tracks this album of sparse atmospheric electronica moves from Cigarettes After Sex langour to Grimes-esque sass, taking in a diverse range of references —including Florence Welch—on the way. “Runner Up” stands out; a heartfelt appeal to a lover to show their true colours, produced in a dreamy, reverberant sonic widescreen format. Lush and lovely. The runner up to “Runner Up” has to be “GAME”, a more urgent affair which comes with a menacing, bouncing bassline and a side-serving of vitriol. And “What It Is To Be Human” definitely earns an honourable mention. JP
Elíza Newman – Fagradalsfjall (you’re so pretty)
Is your life missing a song dedicated entirely to Iceland’s latest volcano? Me too, right. Well we at Grapevine HQ have got something just for you “Fagradalsfjall (you’re so pretty)” by Eliza Newman. A sweeter than a sweet shop melody with soothing vocals that’ll make you melt in a similar fashion to how one would melt in the lava coming out of the eruption. The lyrics sing softly of how amazing, fantastic and beautiful the volcano is with the music video consisting of some fantastic drone shots of the eruption site. Over the top yes, but what a tribute. OT
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.
You can also check out our shop, loaded with books, apparel and other cool merch, that you can buy and have delivered right to your door.
Also you can get regular news from Iceland—including the latest notifications on eruptions, as soon as they happen—by signing up to our newsletter.
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!