From Iceland — Picks For Sónar 2015: JADED VETERAN EDITION


Published February 10, 2015

Ragnar Egilsson
Photo by
Max Ronnersjol

Look. We know. You’re young, dumb and full of cum. You can’t wait to dance your ass off to all of Sónar’s bleepy boopy extravaganza. Congratulations, it’s a good place to be in life. However, heed these words: if you love it enough, and if you stay at it long enough, you’ll eventually grow old and bitter, sort of like half of Grapevine’s music writers. You’ll have seen it all twice. You won’t be easy to impress. You’ll go to shows to stand around, tap your toes and reminisce about how shows used to be better and more exciting while waiting for some unfortunate youngster from the crowd to ask you how it’s going so you can crush their enthusiasm.

And that’s not a bad place to be, either. You might not have the night of your life every night you go out, but that’s mostly because you’ll have had so many great nights already And then you’ll eventually give up and have kids or get a dog or both. And maybe see a Skálmöld show every once in a while and get too drunk and nobody’s asking what you think about anything and didn’t these shows use to start sooner? Anyway, whatever. Here are some JADED VETERAN PICKS for Sónar Reykjavík 2015.

I read some knee-jerk liberal article trying to find fault with the fact that A.G. Cook and Sophie and all these guys were appropriating girly vocals and mannerisms. There’s seriously a whole ongoing discussion about how ironic they are being about their love of high-pitched, inane pop music… and I mean people are trying to establish the level of irony to a percentile. Their detractors claim that as the perfect proof of what they see as shameless hipster posturing. Maybe they’re right, but think about what weird conversation artists like Sophie managed to stir up. Compare it to whatever Liam Howlett was moaning about in the papers last year. Also, “Bipp” was like the best song that year and if you don’t agree then it’s because your life is full of wrong.

Ryan Hemsworth
Dogs get in for free and Hemmy is the one for me.

Yung Lean & Sad Boys [pictured]
There used to be a time that an eighteen-year-old Swedish subarbanite emoting about Pokémon and mouthfucks over slouchy beats would have been a bad punchline. And in a way it was. It’s like Future Islands on Letterman, first you laugh and on the third watch you’re kind of getting into it and by the fifth watch you’re getting a little worried about the guy. Lean is an unholy teenaged offspring of Drake and Kanye at their most self-pitying, coupled with the Lil B-ness of Lil B.

I was hearing about Little Pain as the leader of the whole sad hip-hop movement before I knew who Lean was. And then Lean started a whole movement, make no mistake. I’m too old to fully grasp how deep that influence goes, but it’s spread wide. I saw some Lean clone from Korea the other day, same approach, just as culturally adrift and pretty fucking good. A tidal wave of stoned white boys. Although Yung is definitely dialing back the sadness as he develops as a musician, and I find myself buying into the hype.

New Yorker did a whole feature on the Sad Boys, but Pitchfork seems to hate them. I have no idea what that means. See what I mean? That’s some divisive shit. Like that guy said on that guy’s song: “No one knows what it means, but it’s provocative.”

He comes across as the nicest guy on the planet, but I’ve had problems forging a proper connection to his music. Why couldn’t dubstep just stay between me and Burial? Why did the Americans have to dial it up to ear-bleedingly stupid? That’s what I would have said in 2009. Now I don’t really care, and I’ll check out the lightshow for however long it takes someone to spill my drink. I’m hoping to bump into one of my nephews gurning on molly so I can blackmail him mercilessly for all of 2015.

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