From Iceland — Grapevine Playlist: Jelena Ciric, gugusar, boncyan & More!

Grapevine Playlist: Jelena Ciric, gugusar, boncyan & More!

Published November 6, 2020

Grapevine Playlist: Jelena Ciric, gugusar, boncyan & More!
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Provided by boncyan

Oh Friday, you’ve come at last. What does that mean? Your weekly dose of Grapevine-approved tunes.

Jelena Ciric – Lines

In the midst of all this worldwide chaos, turn to singer-songwriter Jelena Ciric to remember the sweetness of ordinary life. “I went to a fortune teller on St. Clair, west of Forest Hill. I know I was curious, had a half hour to kill,” Jelena starts, accompanied by upbeat piano chords and those light, delicate, childlike indie vocals we so need right now. She later details the mundane but oh so human details of the whole encounter—a reprieve, apparently, from the end of a relationship—from the neon lights to the rubber band holding back the psychic’s hair. “Isn’t it something? Believing we can change? By doing something funny? By doing something strange?” Preach. And isn’t it something that she’ll be releasing an EP soon? (Btw, the Grapevine unanimously agreed that this could easily be the motivational song in a musical.) HJC

Urmull & Kraðak & Hermigervill – Lifandi

God, the opening beat of this song brought me back to the “Sleep To Dream” opening of ‘Tidal’. Didn’t expect to feel that this Friday, but don’t get the wrong idea, this is totally not like that—just an observation. Anyway, “Lifandi” is a rather funky ditty, one you can’t help shaking your head to and doing that “oh yeah!” narrowed-eye look to. If there’s anything that can pull us out of our houses and into those fantasies where we are sitting at a little club, sipping a whiskey and listening to a live band jam, complete with keyboard solos and more, this is it. We can already smell the smoke, taste the salt of those bar peanuts, and admire the zany print on the singer’s button up. “Lifandi” means “live” and this’ll definitely get your blood moving. Shake those hips. HJC

boncyan – It’s On Me

boncyan describes themselves as a “throwback to the boy bands of yesteryear” and are debuting their tribute with “It’s On Me”. To be frank, the track definitely has a jazzier feel than the Backstreet Boys, NKOTB, Hansen, or the CRIMINALLY underrated O-Town—upon first listen, I would not pin them as boy band fans—but it’s definitely got the fundamentals down: rueful, pining, designed-to-make-teenage-girls-swoon lyrics, wholesome vocals and smooth harmonies, and a very ~emotional~ ending, among other things. The song is also so earnest that I really don’t think it’s a satire. Here’s seeing if they release a video featuring unbuttoned white button ups, a wind machine, and of course, choreography. HJC

Auður x gugusar – Frosið sólarlag

Reykjavík Grapevine’s favourite gugusar shows in this song that there is nothing she can’t do. It’s a slick pop song, and she gets a solid backup from one of Iceland’s biggest stars, Auður. Don’t expect the soulful indie edge she shows on her first album—this song is much more high-production—but above all else, her newest collab definitely shows she has some serious flexibility as a musician. We can’t wait to see what she does next. VG


A song whose intro lyrics are “Have you really loved?” Jesus Christ Coco, don’t come for me today. Anyway, I can’t make up my mind on whether this acoustic, wistful, rather heavy track makes me happy or sad, but it’s definitely got the plaintive-car-driving-scene-in-an-indie-film vibe down. Genuinely, I can already see Emily Browning strolling the streets of Gowanus realising she pushed away her bespeckled academic soulmate due to the unscalable walls she built up after her uncaring singer-songwriter ex cheated on her while this song softly plays in the background accompanied by fog. The Grapevine production company is on it. HJC

Hringfari – Er Þú Grætur

Hringfari is a new collaboration between Icelandic Teitur Björgvinsson and Canadian James Bunton. Their debut, self-titled album uses sounds created in churches, wood cabins in the forest and temporary studios, making for a soulful, raw and vulnerable style—a vibe that is perfectly encapsulated in the last song on the album “Er Þú Grætur”. Accompanied by a simple organ drone and the pitter patter of rain on the windows, the song is a cosy, meditative blanket and milky tea kinda song. If you like your music to hit you, gently, right in the feels, this is the track for you. JD

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