From Iceland — Grapevine New Music Picks: MSEA, Sunna Margrét, JFDR & More

Grapevine New Music Picks: MSEA, Sunna Margrét, JFDR & More

Published April 28, 2023

Grapevine New Music Picks: MSEA, Sunna Margrét, JFDR & More
Photo by
Art Bicnick

As we careen towards the end of April, this spring has already been extremely fruitful. As always, we have newer voices sprouting up from the grassroots to share the sunlight with already established musicians. Today, we’re bringing you MSEA’s nightmare-pop, Sunna Margrét and her dreamy and dreadful track, an EP from the Berlin-based popper Anton Líni, and the much anticipated album Museum by JFDR. Don’t forget to grab the next issue of the Reykjavík Grapevine, out Friday May 5, for a closer look at JFDR’s newest release. Also released the same day is Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir’s debut solo album, How To Start A Garden. I’m not saying who’ll be on the cover of the issue, though — my lips are sealed.

For a closer look at the last week in Icelandic music, listen to our podcast, 66 Degrees of Sound. Artist MSEA joins Jói as the cohost of this week’s episode.

MSEA – “Mouth of the face of the sea”

Released April 25

The feature of this week’s 66 Degrees of Sound was artist MSEA speaking about this brand new track. “Mouth of the face of the sea” is MSEA’s first single from her forthcoming album, Our Daily Apocalypse Walk, which we can expect in September 2023. While writing the album, MSEA utilised dream-journaling techniques to make sense of what her subconscious was telling her. The title was inspired by Steve Erickson’s novel Rubicon Beach and touches on the topic of shame. It’s an excellent piece of nightmare-pop. Join MSEA Saturday April 29, for a premiere of the single’s music video. JB

Sunna Margrét – “Out Of Breath”

Released April 25

The first single of Sunna Margrét’s forthcoming EP, “Out Of Breath” is a bright and dreamy track. The song sounds a bit like a warm, sunny day that’s bound to end in disaster. Not an “I dropped my phone in Tjörnin” kind of disaster, but more of a “somebody set fire to my house” kind of disaster. This underlying feeling of dread imbued in “Out Of Breath”, most likely stems from the innocent-sounding keyboards mixed with the heavier chorus and Sunna’s laid-back vocal work. She is set to release the EP Five Songs For Swimming on June 2. In the meantime, you can gaze at the single’s music video. JB

Mikael Máni – “The Raccoon and the Dog”

Released April 27

Pure bliss is what comes to mind when first the notes of Mikael Máni’s “The Raccoon and the Dog” begin to play. It imitates the same feeling of joy I experience when I see a racoon and a dog together. Mikael Máni’s arpeggiating guitar and airy melody obliterate the humdrum of everyday life, leaving nothing but happiness in its place. In his single, Mikael Máni exhibits his musical prowess and proficiency on the guitar. It was supposedly written about a childhood memory of Mikael playing with his sister. Childlike happiness, hope and positivity radiate from this single, which is from Mikael’s forthcoming album Innermost (out in October). JB

Anton Líni – Næsti Staður

Released April 28

Hailing from Þingeyri in the Westfjords, Anton Líni now operates out of Berlin. Anton has been writing and releasing music since his teenage years and his diligence has paid off as the seven-track Næsti Staður exhibits great maturity and ambition. The album is characterised by a mellow atmosphere, heartfelt acoustic guitars, and melodic melancholy. Anton Líni’s songs evoke solemn introspection dressed in expertly produced pop-music. If you don’t have time for the full album, at least listen to the song “Stjörnur og Lífið.” You can thank me later. JB

JFDR – Museum

Released April 28

It’s hard to get in the spotlight when your album release date coincides with that of The National, but JFDR has nailed it. Museum is JFDR’s third solo album and the twelfth of her career — an impressive achievement for a 28-year old. With a captivating blend of experimental and pop influences, delicate yet powerful vocals and a pinch of mystery, Museum is a work of art. IZ

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