From Iceland — Grapevine Playlist: Bjarki, John Grant, Hjálmar, RVKDTR, Axel Flóvent & more

Grapevine Playlist: Bjarki, John Grant, Hjálmar, RVKDTR, Axel Flóvent & more
Photo by
Hörður Sveinsson

Like a pack of raging, ravenous polar bears charging into your living room, here are the latest tracks we’ve been listening to from the Icelandic scene.

Bjarki – Fork
Techno isn’t often described as “fun,” as it demands a seriousness and repetitiveness, but this is probably why our very own Bjarki is getting huge in the European club scene. While sticking to the basics of Really Serious Techno, he still fits in bits that make you crack a little smile on the dance floor.

John Grant – Love Is Magic
This depressive, Seattle-born-Reykjavík-based crooner has kept his sound fresh in the last few years with electronic sound experiments. His new track, “Love Is Magic,” has a bit of mid 80s Italo-disco drama, with 8-bit computer sounds that create interesting contrasts to the moving melody.

Hjálmar – Hættur að anda
No summer? No problem. The band that single-handedly turned the idea of Icelandic reggae from a joke to a serious proposition returns, with a track that stays true to their winning formula of reggae backdrops and folky vocals and instrumentation.

Reykjavíkurdætur – Ekkert drama
Iceland’s girl rap supergroup Reykjavíkurdagur returns with a collab with legendary singer Svala. The track is a Hip-House banger on the 90s tip, and it’s about not having drama while you’re going out tonight.

MIMRA – Sinking Island
Slightly ambient indie with a bit of a jazzy vocal is the name of the game from MIMRA, slightly reminiscent of Emiliana Torrini.

Axel Flóvent – Close To You
Leading Icelandic folk-popper Axel Flóvent returns with a radio-friendly balad reminiscent of Ed Sheeran and early-era Coldplay. He embarks on a European tour later this year, where he’ll no doubt clean up on the cool mom circuit.

RAGNAR – Á öðrum stað
Smooth folky ballad with a brass backing from the mononymous Ragnar. While not terribly original, it’s a little heart warming.

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