With that pesky pandemic limiting our ability to go out and see music played live, it’s a good thing that 2022 is starting strong with new releases to see us through yet more domestic confinement. The below musical gems—and so many more brought to you by The Grapevine over the last year—are all available in our New Music Picks 2021-22 playlist.
Vök – Stadium
Thank the good Nordic gods for Vök. This new track takes the darkest days—both literally and metaphorically—and illuminates their murkiest corners with three minutes of optimistic, positive, uplifting electropop. “Stadium represents the feeling of ultimate freedom, and finally reaching a moment in one’s life where you feel hope, content and at peace,” says singer Margrét Rán. And that’s exactly how this track feels. JP
Hugar – Ævi
There’s no ‘new year, new me’ rhetoric from Hugar in their latest track from upcoming album ‘Rift’. Instead we are given, and gratefully receive, five-and-a-half minutes of rich, moody, atmospheric post-rock greatness. You can easily lose yourself in the waves of sound, fantasising that you’re riding across the brutal Icelandic landscape on horseback or, in my case, imagining that I look super cool while doing my silly little yoga routine. JG
Brynjar Daðason – Pretty Late
Brynjar Daðason’s debut album, released courtesy of Icelandic artist collective Mengi, is an engaging set of sparsely arranged pieces for electric guitar. Having studied composition in Reykjavík, Brynjar enlisted some of the country’s most respected musicians, such as Skúli Sverrisson and Albert Finnbogason, to contribute to this project.
Radiohead’s Johnny Greenwoood is cited in Brynjar’s biography as an influence, but his gentle, precise style of playing hints at a range of diverse reference points. On standout track “Bío Paradís”, for example, he conjures up musical images of The Durutti Column’s Vini Reilly. And that is praise indeed. JP
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