From Iceland — Grapevine New Music Picks: Of Monsters And Men, Sóley And CeaseTone

Grapevine New Music Picks: Of Monsters And Men, Sóley And CeaseTone

Published October 29, 2021

Grapevine New Music Picks: Of Monsters And Men, Sóley And CeaseTone
Photo by
Cameron Stewart

Monsters! Phantoms! Skulls! And… erm… CeaseTone! It must be Halloween weekend. Get your spooky on with our recommendations for the best new Icelandic music on offer, and check out everything we’re listening to right now on The Grapevine’s New Music Picks Spotify playlist.

We’ve made the effort—now put some candy in our bag, tightwad.

Of Monsters and Men – Phantom

In November Of Monsters And Men celebrate the 10-year anniversary of their first album, ‘My Head Is An Animal’. The song “Phantom” was a mainstay for the band back when they were making that record, but for one reason or another it didn’t make the cut. However this gorgeous track has been rescued, recorded and added to the celebratory re-release of the album. It’s what you’d expect from Iceland’s most famous indie darlings, all soothing guitar riffs, smooth vocals and gentle hooks. If you’re experiencing stress, you may find “Phantom” a fantastically calming influence. RH

Sóley – Sunrise Skulls

Bringing an apt title for the Halloween weekend, this song and accompanying video are both soothing and horrific at the same time. Taken from Sóley’s concept album ‘Mother Melancholia’—which concerns the violence that humankind inflicts on the earth—the song is a gorgeous reverb-laden dreamscape of soft strings, gentle piano and cooed vocals. But it’s Samantha Shay’s remarkable video which grabs the attention and delivers a truly soothing horror. An unsettling nine-minutes combining dance, narration and psychologically spiky images, this short film sears itself into your consciousness and keeps you coming back to watch it again, just to check that the previous times weren’t fevered lucid dreams. (And there isn’t a skull in sight.) JP

CeaseTone – Egotopia (album)

Now, isn’t CeaseTone a bundle of rock’n’roll joy! Well, joy is perhaps too strong a word here, as there is a melancholic soulful undertone in the clean voice of Hafsteinn Þráinsson that keeps things real. CeaseTone just released his album, ‘Egotopia’, which is full of catchy melodies and a strong soundscape. But the real magic here is eventful structures in the songs that continue to surprise you. Hands down one of the freshest indie rock artists that Iceland has to offer at the moment. VG

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