From Iceland — Grapevine Playlist: Svarti Laxness, gugusar, Diljá, ClubDub & More!

Grapevine Playlist: Svarti Laxness, gugusar, Diljá, ClubDub & More!

Published July 9, 2021

Grapevine Playlist: Svarti Laxness, gugusar, Diljá, ClubDub & More!
Photo by
Anna Maggý

You like music? Of course you do. You clicked on a link entitled ‘Grapevine Playlist’. So here you go, friends.

Svarti Laxness – Hvaddagera

Summer vibes with a dark twist from Svarti Laxness, the musical persona of rapper, singer, actor and all-round creative renaissance man David Thor. “Hvaddagera” – which translates roughly as “what are you doing?” – bowls in all robust beats and bouncing bass, underneath Svarti’s smooth lyrical flow. But the track feels edgy, like someone who comes into a room but declines to take off their coat or sit down. Check out the video – produced by Kaiku Sound – which features sepia vignettes of a cravat-sporing Svarti tapping at an old mechanical typewriter, and being haunted by his own question: “Hvaddagera?” JP

gugusar – Glerdúkkan

Another self-assured offering from talented teen Guðlaug Sóley Höskuldsdóttir. “Glerdúkkan” translates as “The Glass Doll,” but there’s nothing fragile about this track despite its gentle piano intro. Soaring, reverb-laden vocals give way to the familiar Gugusar territory of beatsy dreampop before returning to the keyboard motif. The track has the confidence to grind to a halt only two minutes in, when a lesser creation might have ploughed on for fear of losing momentum. And clocking in at over five minutes long, this piece is clearly confident that it’s not going to outstay its welcome. Industry behemoth Sony Music has put faith in this young artist, and I suspect that they may not regret that decision. JP

Diljá – Sporin

Diljá’s latest track reminds one of a windy, gloomy day at the seashore. It seems like footprints tracing through the sand are following Diljá, as she sings enchanting melodies in her soft, euphonious voice. Soulful violins underline ”Sporin”, making it perfect for a melancholic daydream while staring at the ocean until all sorrows are gone. AM

LOGI – No More Lies (Stripped)

LOGI’s 2019 single “No More Lies” is now available in a stripped-down version. Sans the casual tinkling drumbeat of the original, this version has a much more cinematic feel—not to say the original wasn’t already dramatic, ‘cause it was. The most striking difference though is in the opening. While the 2019 version began with delicate piano chords accompanying LOGI’s pleading voice, this one features a humming choir, which immediately sets the scene that this is not a track to be taken lightly. It’s more despondent than the original, especially when the choir re-emerges to beg “Help me to come back down” in the chorus. To be honest, I prefer this one, but that’s only because I love to cry to lonely, sad songs accompanied by melancholic choirs. HJC

Vill – Líkamar

This track is a wild ride. Starting as sparse as dust motes floating in a sun-filled room, it gradually begins to coalesce into a more solid form with a steady beat, before starbursting into ethereal synths and lilting female vocals. Vill’s overall sound is that of a matured pop musician who writes music for grownups who’ve settled down and want something to play in the background while doing housework, but this song showcases an eclecticism that is at once delightful and intriguing. ASF

ClubDub – please don’t trust me

I’m a simple man, and often all it takes to get me stomping is a solid four-on-the-floor beat with a good hook. You know how when you go out, you actually kind of hate half the people in your posse? Well, Icelandic electro dance-pop duo ClubDub have created the perfect soundtrack for partying with your frenemies, with a playful, sexy cynicism that makes your dumb life fade away, momentarily making you believe that you too are one of the cool trust fund kids of the 101. EP

Ásgeir – Sunday Drive

Few songs manage to capture the feeling of sitting in a forest around a campfire at dusk, than Ásgeir’s most recent release. Gentle folksy strumming is accompanied by English lyrics, reminiscing on parking by a lake as snow is falling in the foreground. Emitting the romanticism of nature and the freezing of time, you could definitely nod off to this one. In a good way––actually, in a really beautiful way. Add this one to your quintessential Icelandic road trip playlist. Don’t worry, we all have one. BK

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