From Iceland — Grapevine Playlist: CeaseTone, ALVIA, Jónsi, GusGus & More!

Grapevine Playlist: CeaseTone, ALVIA, Jónsi, GusGus & More!

Published January 29, 2021

Grapevine Playlist: CeaseTone, ALVIA, Jónsi, GusGus & More!
Hannah Jane Cohen
Photo by
Timothée Lambrecq

We love music! We love it a lot! We listen to it everyday! Just try us!

CeaseTone – Continents

They say January is the most depressing month of the year (especially when the light of the vaccinated tunnel still feels so far away). “Continents” by CeaseTone (Hafsteinn Þráinsson) manages to fill that little melancholic hole with a hint of tragic upbeatness, a touch of blood pumping beats, and a dream that, while things currently suck, at least they can suck accompanied by cinematic harmonies and sing along choruses. Basically, imagine the song that plays in an indie movie post-breakup and eviction where the main character begins to go from sad to inspired and “find themselves.” Hafsteinn is truly a talent. Every 10 seconds, you’ll probably think “Damn, this guy can sing!” Then 10 seconds later, you’ll be like “I take that back, this guy can SING!” It doesn’t help that the chorus says “I wish we could run away.” Me fucking too, CeaseTone. Give me the vaccination. HJC

ALVIA – Pistol Pony

Notorious elegant hoe, bubblegum bitch, and snow queen Alvia Islandia is finally here with her long-awaited “Pistol Pony”—a song she’s been teasing since the releases of 2016’s ‘Bubblegum Bitch’. The video, directed by Logi Hilmarsson, is a sexy, smooth, kaleidoscopic UV explosion. Basically, imagine a glitter-obsessed camgirl in space who also sometimes journeys down to Earth to hang with horses—that’s kind of the vibe we’re getting. The song, produced by HiLvL and Glacier Mafia, is equally effortless. A chill, somewhat melancholic, psychedelic track, it’ll no doubt be on repeat at every (socially-distant) party in 2021. HJC

GusGus – Stay The Ride

Just the existence of a new track by GusGus is a beautiful thing, a statement justified by the fact that the track itself is just as gorgeous. Stay The Ride finds Biggi and Daníel confidently and effortlessly blending beats and bending genres into a warm, deep, sparse whole. Daniel’s vocals share the space with those of Vök’s Margrét Rán, and the track showcases the quiet mastery of musical craft that Biggi and Daníel have developed over the last quarter of a century. If this is representative of the upcoming album Mobile Homes, then we can anticipate many more beautiful things to come. JP

Countess Malaise – EXCITING

Countess Malaise offers a brutal sarcastic song about the excitement of becoming a wifey. The song itself is not as strong as often before, especially if we are gonna comparison it to her brilliant EP, Hysteria. The song is obviously under heavy influence from hip-hop queens like Cardi B, Nicky Minaj and Thee Stallion. Which is fitting, because Countess Malaise has proven that there are few as brilliant as she is in the Icelandic hip-hop scene. VG

Kristján Steinn – Fullt Tungl

There is a new kid on the nordic hip hop block. Kristjánn Steinn has published a small charming hip-hop song and a video where he spends two minutes trying to stand straight. The song has a nice twist and the chilled melodies are quite solid, although, there is not much new happening here. But it’s undeniably a good start for Kristjánn Steinn. He got serious potential. VG

RAKEL – Our Favourite Line

Soft emotional soundscape pop with some unexpected tonal shifts. Oftentimes it’s said that it takes two albums to get away from your influences, and this is only RAKEL’s second song. That said, you get the underlying sense throughout “Our Favourite Line” that you’re listening to someone that knows how to surprise you even in a genre that feels totally overrun by similar acts. “Our Favourite Line” doesn’t feel generic and it feels like step 1 in a process we can’t wait to watch. HJC

Jónsi – Mold

Jónsi has slowly been establishing himself as a solo artist after the incredible success of Sigur Rós. And if anyone had any doubts about Jónsi finding his tone without the legendary band, well, those doubts are crushed completely with this excellent and incredibly powerful song, Mold (dirt in English). The video itself, directed by individual directors, among them is Jónsi’s sister, Ingibjörg Birgisdóttir, is just flat out mindblowing and standout artwork. How to describe this whole thing, well, just listen, pump up the volume, watch, enjoy and thank us later. VG

Like the songs? Follow our weekly playlist, where we add the best and brightest of Icelandic music.

Note: Due to the effect the Coronavirus is having on tourism in Iceland, it’s become increasingly difficult for the Grapevine to survive. If you enjoy our content and want to help the Grapevine’s journalists do things like eat and pay rent, please consider joining our High Five Club.

You can also check out our shop, loaded with books, apparel and other cool merch, that you can buy and have delivered right to your door.

Support The Reykjavík Grapevine!
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!

Show Me More!