From Iceland — Grapevine New Music Picks: Júníus Meyvant, Hanna Mia Brekkan and Ljunggren/Sverrisson

Grapevine New Music Picks: Júníus Meyvant, Hanna Mia Brekkan and Ljunggren/Sverrisson

Published December 10, 2021

Grapevine New Music Picks: Júníus Meyvant, Hanna Mia Brekkan and Ljunggren/Sverrisson
Photo by
Sigridur Unnur Ludviksdottir

This week we’ve got three more musical non-Christmas crackers for you, with love from Iceland.

Well if you want Mariah Carey telling you what she wants for Christmas, and Wham! complaining about last Christmas, then you probably know where to go… and it ain’t here. Bah! And indeed, humbug!

Check out everything we’re listening to right now on The Grapevine’s New Music Picks playlist.

Júníus Meyvant – Ástarsæla

This timeless classic–originally released in 1968 by Hljómar, one of Iceland’s first pop-rock bands–can be done in many different ways. It’s a tender love song that’s been covered, arranged, and re-arranged countless times by many musicians. But this particular cover by Júníus both retains the charm of the original, and brings a modern polish that makes it sound like a ballad you’d hear on any respectable light rock station. Sure it’s corny, but a little corn never hurt anyone. Play this on your dinner date with your long-term partner. ASF

Hanna Mia Brekkan – Like A Tree

Hanna Mia’s latest single, from her upcoming EP ‘Human’, is the perfect piece of indulgently earnest indie-folk. There’s nothing too groundbreaking here, but Hanna matches warm-toned acoustic guitar with heartfelt lyrics about her grandmother to great emotional effect. Despite not actually being a Christmas song, the production values have that same sentimental, misty-eyed appeal that makes you want to hug your loved ones a little tighter, while watching a wood-burning stove as soft snow falls outside. Or something. JG

Gustaf Ljunggren with Skúli Sverrisson – Olive

Bassman Skúli Sverrisson is as busy as he is clever with a four-stringed fretboard. Not content with creating one of The Grapevine’s favourite albums of 2021 — the sublime ‘Án Tillits’ with Magnús Jóhann — he’s also gone and created this beauty with Swedish multi-instrumentalist Gustaf Ljunggren. “Olive” is the first single from Gustaf’s impending album; an elegant progression of pizzicato which builds slowly, and creeps surreptitiously into your consciousness. Given that lyrics are what usually turn a piece of music into an ear-worm, it’s an accolade to this instrumental that it’s already lodged firmly in my brain. JP

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