Í Svörtum FötumMeðan Ég Sef - The Reykjavik Grapevine

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Í Svörtum FötumMeðan Ég Sef


Published May 27, 2005

The recent documentary on Icelandic music avoids mentioning this band, which is one of the most popular in Iceland. Which got us to thinking, maybe Í Svörtum Fötum is doing something right. Yes, they are considered a Sveitaballa (country dance) band, which is something like being labelled VH1-fodder, so hipsters of Reykjavík want nothing to do with them. There may be another problem in that the lyrics to Í Svörtum Fötum songs are loaded with things like dreams and kiss me and phrases one usually wouldn’t use without irony. Honestly, we can’t compliment the songwriting all that highly: chord progressions are in the obvious category, and the beats are droning. And the tendency to add vocal effects and strings and call things a chorus is tiring. However, let’s point out something that are commendable in Í Svörtum Fötum’s latest effort. First off, lead singer Jonsi has a natural tenor and remarkably good diction—for foreigners, drunks and children, Icelandic requires clear enunciation. Also, this well-travelled band keeps songs tight, and on occasion layer their keys and guitars nicely. There is room in this world for good-natured, well-produced pop, and on songs like Vaknaðu, Í Svörtum Fötum produces this. Also, did we mention this band wasn’t featured in Gargandi Snilld?
Worth four beers. Costs four beers.

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