From Iceland — Grapevine New Music Picks: Seabear, Benni Hemm Hemm and Árný Margrét

Grapevine New Music Picks: Seabear, Benni Hemm Hemm and Árný Margrét

Published February 18, 2022

Grapevine New Music Picks: Seabear, Benni Hemm Hemm and Árný Margrét
Photo by
Ingibjörg & Lilja Birgisdætur

New sounds from some elusive folksters, a quirky indie stalwart and a rising legend.

These little beauties—and so many more brought to you by The Grapevine over the past twelve months—are available in our New Music Picks 2021-22 playlist.

Seabear – “Parade”

Sindri Már Sigfússon and company are back with their first album in ten years, and this track makes it well worth the wait. Sindri, also known as the artist Sin Fang, and his friends have brought to life the sound Seabear are best known for: cozy, intimate, imaginative indie folk. This is the aural equivalent of chatting with a good friend over a warm cup of coffee on a winter’s morning. Absolutely love stuff. ASF

Benni Hemm Hemm & the Melting Diamond Band – “Calypso”

Indie-pop star Benni Hemm Hemm is back with yet another release. His new four-track album ‘Benni Hemm Hemm & the Melting Diamond Band II’ is an experimental mix with a rather hypnotizing effect. The 13-minute track ‘Calypso’ takes you not to ancient Greece but to urban Brussels—the setting for the track’s video that also appears on the album’s cover. Quite a philosophical piece! IZ

Árný Margrét – “Raddupptaka_001”

OK, we admit to being the Árný Margrét Cheerleader Squad here at The Grapevine. But apart from Pollý having a penchant for pom-poms, (and who doesn’t?), there’s a solid reason for that: everything that Árný Margrét releases is sublime.

Her soft lilting voice is a joy to the ear, her guitar picking is precise and understated, and her songwriting craft is developed way beyond her 20 years. Honestly, if she ever starts releasing crap, we’ll stop raving about her. But we certainly haven’t reached that point yet.

“Raddupptaka_001″—which translates as “Voice Recording 001″—is all you’d expect from Árný Margrét, with the added angle of her moving from her usual English lyrics to her native Icelandic. Rather than that fact spoiling things for Anglophones, it opens up the possibilities of enjoying the voice as pure instrument. The track appears to have been recorded in a camper van, with a video shot at the same time which you can enjoy above. Join us in shaking a pom-pom to one of Iceland’s premier emerging talents. JP

We’ve been having some awful weather here lately, so we’re grateful for our comfy traditional lopapeysa sweaters—the beautiful woolen garments that have been keeping Icelanders warm for generations. They’re available in our shop, and ours are hand-knitted right here in Iceland.

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