From Iceland — Music News in Brief (All Caps Edition): JFDR, AUÐUR, GANGLY & More

Music News in Brief (All Caps Edition): JFDR, AUÐUR, GANGLY & More

Published March 22, 2017

Music News in Brief (All Caps Edition): JFDR, AUÐUR, GANGLY & More
Parker Yamasaki
Photo by
Art Bicnick
Timothy Lambreque
Matthew Eisman

Gone are the days of A-sides and B-sides, we’re in the world of track by track. Listeners are often seduced away from narrative storytelling and continuous threads by the Spotify temptress and the “new-here-now” workflow. But last month AUÐUR, one of Reykjavík’s newest-herest-nowists, released his debut album ‘Alone’ with a one-shot music video that runs its entire length. “The album is one continuous flow, written about one concept by myself alone on one single microphone, so it made sense to me,” he says. The album includes nine songs that bleed into one another and can be looped endlessly. The video features Auður, only Auður. Thirty-two minutes and twenty-nine seconds of Auður. It was shot by Snorri Sturluson, whose portfolio brims with unorthodox music videos, like Fufanu’s VR video for “Plastic People” and Sigur Rós’s “route One” slow-tv extravaganza. Auður says he treated the album as “a concrete entity” and always included its visual representation as part of the package. ‘Alone’ arrived as the full package, tied with a single, continuous, looping bow.

While Auður lays concrete for his own sturdy, planned foundation, Lord Pusswhip takes a sledgehammer in hand and smashes his own. The music and art collective FALK (Fuck Art Let’s Kill) released ‘Lord Pusswhip Is Dead’ in mid-February. It is the first release of the collective in 2017, one that almost didn’t come to fruition: “With no tracks or artwork forthcoming, and with no way of getting in contact, FALK was facing up to the possibility of having to delay or even shelve this release. Then 1 week ago, we received a WeTransfer link containing 20 tracks, artwork based on the obituary notice… and a short, cryptic message” writes one representative of FALK. The material dump—which has come to be known as ‘Lord Pusswhip Is Dead’—is the artist’s own selection of tracks from 2011 to date, and the end of Lord Pusswhip as we know it.

Pusswhip may have committed the metaphorical self-murder, but his rap contemporary, Emmsjé Gauti, is alive and thriving. Gauti took home four awards from the annual Icelandic Music Awards held March 2. That’s the same number that Björk received at the same awards last year. Just saying. Gauti grabbed rap album of the year, artist of the year, best performer and song of the year. Other awards went to Kaleo for rock album of the year; Júníus Meyvant for pop album of the year; Samaris for best electronic album; Valdimar for best rock song, “Slétt og Fellt”; Hildur for pop song of the year, “Walk With You”; and One Week Wonder for music video of the year.

I can’t remember the last issue that came out without word of a new release from Jófríður Ákadóttir. We thought, maybe, this would be the one. That the prolific musician—whose musical involvements include Samaris, Pascal Pinon, GANGLY and most recently a solo project, JFDR—had finally stopped to breathe. But it seems that breathing comes only as naturally as singing for her, and on March 3 we got another exhale on the lead single of Low Roar ’s forthcoming album ‘Once In A Long, Long While’.

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