Three new pieces of music from the frozen north for your international earholes. This week, a brand new singer-songwriter, a Eurovision icon post-Eurovision, and one of Iceland’s most diverse alt-pop stars.
All these little beauties—and so many more brought to you by The Grapevine over the past twelve months—are available in our New Music Picks 2021-22 playlist.
Una Torfa – “Ekkert Að”
“Ekkert Að”, or “Nothing Wrong”, is the first release by Una Torfadóttir, a 21-year-old newcomer who has created a wonderfully gentle ballad, sparsely arranged around acoustic guitar, piano and some understated drums. Its vaguely Celtic feel allows the listener’s mind to wander towards Clannad territory, (that’s a compliment, by the way), and sets the mood to watch the enormous flakes of snow currently drifting down on Reykjavík. (This is surely the longest Icelandic winter ever!).
This track bodes well for Una’s upcoming EP, ‘Flækt Og Týnd Og Einmana’, (‘Tangled And Lost And Lonely’), which has apparently been in the works since 2019. If taking time creates work as good as this, then whenever you’re ready, Una…. no rush.
Filous & Daði Freyr – “Sabada”
Iceland’s favourite 8-bit avatar took a little time out to recalibrate after the Eurovision insanity of 2020 and 2021. Having a baby, moving house and building a new studio all being very good ways to ground yourself, Daði says that he’s now back on terra firma and excited to start writing again.
This relaxed upbeat track—created with Viennese producer Filous—is a great way for Daði to refind his mojo. It comes complete with a charming video, in which the Austrian presents his Icelandic collaborator with a hat to match his own. That’s pretty much it in terms of narrative, but the simple idea of the video matches the uncomplicated joy of the track.
Bríet – “Flugdreki”
The video for her last single “Cold Feet” found Bríet in a transparent crate, completely submerged in frigid water on a snowy Icelandic hillside. It seems that this time the artist has left her music to make the statement and forgone a video, so thankfully no chance of the singer going hypothermic to promote this release.
“Flugdreki” is an atmospheric ballad which starts out all whispered vocals and gentle acoustic guitar, wanders into standard electronic territory as it builds, then suddenly collapses into a strange, Twin Peaks breakdown of woodwind and reverb. But it works. In fact if anything, the odd last couple of minutes just encourages another listen.
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