From Iceland — Grapevine Playlist: Post-Airwaves Music Flood Edition—Great New Stuff Galore

Grapevine Playlist: Post-Airwaves Music Flood Edition—Great New Stuff Galore

Published December 3, 2018

Grapevine Playlist: Post-Airwaves Music Flood Edition—Great New Stuff Galore
Photo by
Art Bicnick

Much like the collapse of a Greenlandic ice shelf being caught on camera by an amateur photographer making a time-lapse, Airwaves 2018 precipitated a disorientating landslide of new releases. However, rather than being a chilling reminder of the inevitability of global warming, this is, you know… just cool and fun. Here are some of the tracks that caught out attention. Try not to think about how much energy it takes to power the internet while you listen.

Skaði – Jamma
The sound of Skaði’s new track—the title of which seemingly relates to “djammið”, or “partying”—comes as a surprise. It’s not so much a dancefloor banger as a catchy, moody guitar-pop number that ambles along at a patient, languid pace. We’re intrigued. The album is available on cassette via Bandcamp. JR

dj. flugvél og geimskip – Elsta Lag í Heimi
Steinunn Eldflaug takes another deep dive into her seemingly bottomless internal universe. This time, we’re treated to “The oldest song in the world”—a song that is actually, apparently, a world in itself, according the ever-unfolding mythology of Steinunn’s lyrics. It’s delivered in an odd register, and the whole thing is joyfully weird, especially seen live. JR

Reptilicus – Unison
You’re at a rave. It’s been years since the epidemic. You reach for your last canteen of iodised water. Instantly, a band of rival raiders snatch it out of your hand. ‘Unison,’ the new album by Reptilicus, blasts from the system as they chug every drop before siphoning the gasoline out of your truck. What a night. HJC

Variant Sea – Selene
Remember the moment in ‘Pride and Prejudice’ where Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth meet in a misty moor in naught but their bedclothes? “Selene,” by Irish/Icelandic duo Variant Sea, would be the perfect soundtrack to that, if both characters were melancholic sea nymphs. HJC

Volruptus – Alien Agenda EP
Berlin techno coolkid Volruptus has deciphered his previous ‘Alien Transmission’ into a full ‘Alien Agenda EP’ on this new four-track release, issued by the vaunted bbbbbb label. It’s a lot of hi-tempo electronic mischief—like if Aphex Twin had a younger brother who was raised in a dark room on a strict diet of Nocco, YouTube and ‘90s breakbeat. JR

JFDR – Gravity
Snap-released during Airwaves, JFDR’s latest EP contains four songs that hint at the direction of her second solo album. Title track ‘Gravity’ is a repeating vocal melody backed by an organ drone; more than the sum of its parts, it’s still somehow evocative enough to feel like a gentle punch in the heart. Check out the haunting video at JR

BRÍET – Carousel
The Icelandic music scene is undergoing a slow shift from an atmosphere of rarified creative independence and willful artistic eccentricity towards a familiar, basic pop sound more aligned with the international mallcore mainstream. BRÍET embodies the change on “Carousel,” a hummable but lightweight ballad aimed firmly at daytime radio. JR

Best Newcomer of 2016 at the Icelandic Music Awards, Auður’s chill R&B beats are taking Iceland, and the world, by storm. He’s earned himself a reputation for the unconventional ways in which he releases music—check out his newest album to see what the hype is all about. M

Brynja – Liar
A reworking of an old song, this version is every bit as catchy as its acoustic counterpart. Brynja weaves longing into this light, feel-good song with some added beats. Perfect for jamming while brushing your teeth, then running out the front door to start your day. See the video on Brynja’s YouTube channel. M

Susan Creamcheese – Bamboozle Gobbledygook
The latest release from the post-dreifing collective is this energetic, exploratory collection that reveals what fun you can have with sequencers. If you’re a fan of enthusiastic, abstract electronic scribbling, noise, heavy beats, the more playful end of the Digital Hardcore back-catalogue, or ADHD classics like Germlin, Gay Against You and DJ Scotch Egg, etc, you’ll have fun with this. JR

JR: John Rogers
HJC: Hannah Jane Cohen
M: Mulan

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