From Iceland — Grapevine Playlist: Ægir, Árstíðir, Red Riot, Skrattar & More!

Grapevine Playlist: Ægir, Árstíðir, Red Riot, Skrattar & More!

Published June 18, 2021

Grapevine Playlist: Ægir, Árstíðir, Red Riot, Skrattar & More!
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Provided by Skrattar

We love music. You do too. So here’s a selection of music.

Ægir – The Earth Grew Uncertain

As our little pet volcano morphs into a tourist-threatening, road-eating monster—like some sort of subterranean gremlin which has been fed after midnight—Ægir soundtracks the shift with this disorientating scramble of distorted bass, broken beats and frantic glitches. ‘The Earth Grew Uncertain’, as the title implies, is not a piece of work designed to soothe you through these unsettling times—if the earth isn’t sure, what the hell do the rest of us know? And it’s certainly not recommended for those of a nervous disposition. But if you hanker after industrial jackhammer soundscapes, sprayed with machine-gun breaks and underpinning the slurred sounds of fevered nightmares, then this may be the kind of seismic experience you’ve been longing for. JP

Árstíðir – Meanderings

Add a pedal steel guitar and you’d tip this song over into full-on country territory, but as it stands, it’s a plucking, beautiful track that’s as indie-country as you’ll find in this country (without approaching cheesiness). With a roaming, melancholic melody, it’s a song that takes you on a lonely drive through the flat badlands of your imagination. The lyrics long for freedom from a dying relationship, while still struggling with the fact that there’s no separating when the love hasn’t fully passed yet. Probably don’t put this on for a party, but definitely put it on when you’ve got to mull over the futility of love. HJC

Red Riot – One More Dance

In this office, we recognise an OG like Cell7, because literally everything she touches turns to gold. Teamed up with Hildur, and you have a duo who cannot miss. This track is a great example of their combined talents, an almost mournful dance tune about trying to hold together a failing relationship. Crisp, clean production, irascible flow, and entirely catchy, “One More Dance” is a superb summertime track. ASF

Countess Malaise – Anticipation PT. 2

Countess Malaise is mostly known for her confident, growling delivery above menacing beats, but in this track, she shows a more vulnerable side. A tale as old as time—love had, love lost, and love longed for again—is made fresh on this track, with Countess Malaise bearing her heart and in an almost confessional manner over top gently fluttering beats. The Countess is evolving, people—keep your eyes and ears open, because she could become another of Iceland’s breakaway international stars. ASF

Skrattar – Trouble

Skrattar, which literally translates to ‘The Devils’, are larger than life rock n’roll-ers. Their music can probably best be described as indie rockabilly from hell. “Trouble” is an excellent showcase of their strong drowsy style and a taste of their new release. The song has a cool vibe, one of those tracks that you’d hear in a good Quentin Tarantino ripoff and would probably be the most memorable moment in the whole movie. VG

Hafdís Huld – Sumarkveðja

Gentle strumming coincides with the soft, folksy tones of Hafdís Huld. It sparks a sudden desire to grab a cup of coffee and find a spot among wildflowers, sinking into utter bliss. The notes encourage all of your worries to slip away, reminding you all that matters right now is the peaceful harmony that Hafdís gradually fosters. BK

Ouse – Anxiety

Ouse surprises with a poppy, upbeat summer song—and definite earworm—about the struggles of anxiety. While a serious topic, the track makes one reminisce about the lighter days in one’s youth. This tuneful track is definitely one to hum along a nocturnal drive to the ice cream shop on a long Midsummer night. AM

DIMMA – Skuggamyndir

Stalwarts of the Icelandic rock scene DIMMA release this slab of no-nonsense hard rock, culled from their sixth studio album ‘Þögn’. Chugging guitars and bass wind around each other, carrying a classic rock vocal through a classic rock chord progression to a classic rock guitar solo. The band are huge in Iceland, as evidenced by their upcoming gig at Harpa—one of Reykjavík’s biggest concert halls—and they’re good at what they do. If you like your rock chunky and solid but not too dark, you could do much worse than check this out. JP

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