From Iceland — Grapevine Playlist: Cell7, Soffía Björg, Tom Hannay, Passepartout Duo, Flaaryr & More!

Grapevine Playlist: Cell7, Soffía Björg, Tom Hannay, Passepartout Duo, Flaaryr & More!

Published June 25, 2021

Grapevine Playlist: Cell7, Soffía Björg, Tom Hannay, Passepartout Duo, Flaaryr & More!
Photo by
Weronika Izdebska (@ovors)


Cell7 – It’s Complicated

Cell7 is easily the most talented hip hop artist in Iceland. And unsurprisingly, as she’s been a pioneer in Iceland’s scene for over 20 years now. If you’re new to her music, you could do a lot worse than this track, as it highlights all her high points: flawless flow, delivery that can shine the whole spectrum of emotions, shifting effortlessly from rapping to singing. Where a lot of artists would have burned out or gotten stale after a few years, Cell7 just keeps getting fresher. ASF

Vill – 1000 NÆTUR (feat. Agnes from Sykur)

COVID-19 is officially done in Iceland, meaning that there is no room anymore for some gloomy Scandinavian soul-searching pop anthems. No, we want to go wild. And Agnes Björt Andradóttir, best known as the singer in the fantastic band Sykur, could be the one to kickstart the COVID-free party of 2021. I mean, what a voice! “1000 Nætur” is a strong electro pop song with emphasis on the party element. This is the song you throw around glow sticks and spill a bear on the next person when dancing out of your mind. And to be honest, that’s the only thing we want right now. VG

Laser Life – Shun Theme

Laser Life—or Breki Steinn Mánason, to his mum—is an artist whose interest in electronic music has its genesis in the sonic craft of early video games. Technological limitations back in the day meant that designers had to work inventively around strict monophonic limitations, leading to distinct musical motifs such as the heavy use of arpeggiation. These signature sounds, and Laser Life’s general love of the lo-fi, shine through here and at times conjure up images of an Italian plumber leaping over rolling barrels. However, the track also exudes the polished sheen of a producer who knows his eight-bit from his megabyte. JP

Tom Hannay – Dog Days

Damn—this is some sultry shit, Tom. “Dog Days” is a wild ride that alternates between sexy funk music and then some occasional ridiculousness about only having date night every two weeks. It’s one of those songs you would definitely put on a sexy playlist providing the person you were hooking up with didn’t speak English. Best lyrics? “I’ve put on some weight and so have you, but there’s still a lot of lovin’ that we could get to.” HJC

Soffía Björg – Judgement Day

Soffía Björg is here to demonstrate that the days of the passionate songstress are far from over. This is the kind of track that could have been recorded in any era, and could have been played on the radio at any point in the past 100 years, and still sound fresh. Her heartfelt delivery, backed by a solid band with brass that neither overwhelms nor falls into the background, make Judgement Day the torch song for a new day: her heart is wide open, and she’s here to share it unabashedly. Definitely an artist to keep an eye on. ASF

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. ASF

Flaaryr – 160 a Lomas : 12 a Skeljanes

Experimental composer Flaaryr brings warm vibes with him to Reykjavik from Buenos Aires. The track 160 a Lomas : 12 a Skeljanes is fresh off his latest album, Warm Light and Entanglement. As the name suggests, the album is a cosmic hug. Looped samples, guitars, and drums all dreamily come in and out, and the track meditatively progresses, suggesting here and there paths and ideas. Sometimes in Iceland, you have to find summer within yourself, and Flaaryr provides the perfect soundtrack to find some warmth when the sun won’t provide. AM

Passepartout Duo – Daylighting

Minimal progressive electronic art project Passepartout duo draws on landscapes, ecology, and machine generated art in their latest album, ‘Daylighting’. Daylighting is an album that unfolds in space, not time, and I imagine the album as a whole, frozen in time, suspended across a museum wall. The soundscapes stand there, shining, as synthesizers, percussion, and other samples build up sculptures in your ears, to consider at your leisure. This orientation towards space and materiality runs throughout the entire project, with even the risograph ink being thoughtfully sourced. So throw on your turtleneck and warm up your tube amp, because Daylighting is THE banger for your next gallery exhibit. EP

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