From Iceland — Grapevine New Music Picks: Nanna, Sara Flindt, Árný Margrét, Torfi & More

Grapevine New Music Picks: Nanna, Sara Flindt, Árný Margrét, Torfi & More

Published May 5, 2023

Grapevine New Music Picks: Nanna, Sara Flindt, Árný Margrét, Torfi & More
Photo by
John Pearson

What a better way to slowly seep into a Friday than with a roundup of the latest and greatest happening in Icelandic music? Don’t fret! We’ve got you covered. Now’s also a good time to mention the fact that we released a brand-new, hot off the presses, Grapevine issue for all you wonderful geeks and goons to browse through. Grapevine HQ has been hard at work getting everything ready for you folks. And what about that fresh, modern, straight outta art-school look? Some big changes were made to the Grapevine, so make sure you get your hands on a copy so you can send us all your unsolicited opinions. Our cover feature focuses on the talented Nanna Bryndís, which coincidentally is our first pick of the week. 

Nanna – How To Start A Garden
Released May 5
Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir graces us today by releasing her debut solo album. The album and Nanna’s artistry are the topics of our cover feature. How To Start A Garden is an album about contentment, solitude, and going with the flow – even if the flow sometimes looks like a tsunami. The album is a brilliantly conceived piece of art, produced by Nanna in collaboration with the National’s Aaron Dessner and the National’s collaborator Josh Kaufman. Listen to the album as you pick up a copy of the latest issue of the Grapevine, and find out what drew Nanna into going solo. JB

Sara Flindt – It’s always nice to be wanted
Released May 5
Sara Flindt, also known under her moniker ZAAR, releases her first album under her given name. The album is a mix of both previously released and new music – “Organize” originally came out in 2022 on the split-release While We Wait with fellow musicians Salóme Katrín and Rakel Sigurðardóttir. On the album, Sara explores the meaning of home – Sara is a Danish-born, Iceland-based musician. The tracks incorporate spoken word in Danish, Icelandic, and English, with Sara’s vocals being manipulated by a homemade pedal board. It’s experimental, it’s scandi-poppy and Björk-influenced. Still, it’s completely original, unequivocally beautiful, dramatic and melancholic – all within the span of 14 minutes. It’s Sara Flindt. JB

döggur – segdu mer satt
Released April 28
You know when you’re in a situationship and you’ve fully caught feels but the other person is being super vague and you have no idea where you stand? Of course you do. And so does brand new artist döggur, whose first single “sedgu mer satt” implores his lover to tell him the truth. The solo project of Sameheads’ lead singer Dagur Eggertsson, döggur has been making his own music on the side while studying graphic design at LHÍ. While his band gives the more Gang of Four brand of post-punk, döggur serves up The Durruti Column meets early Cocteau Twins doing zoomer rap. It’s heartfelt and fun, and it fucking goes. RX

Released May 5
Another brand new artist bringing us a new track is Torfi, who placed second in this year’s Músiktilraunir contest. Both a musician and contemporary dancer who impressively combines both in his live shows — as witnessed and recounted by our own journalist — his first single is an ode to the ever shifting dynamics of queerness and queer life. The bold, fearless lyrics are set to an arty, experimental 90s R&B-inspired pop track with slow bouncy beats, layered vocal samples, and a rich sweeping synth pad. The whole track makes us feel like that Bridesmaids meme where Kristen Wiig is drinking the lemonade: God damn it, that’s good. Shit, that is fresh. RX

Árný Margrét & Júníus Meyvant – Spring
Released May 4
Everybody knows it’s summer in Iceland already. But Árný Margrét and Júníus Meyvant reminisce about the season that has passed with their latest single ‘Spring.’ It’s a magical dreamy romantic track that can easily be a soundtrack for one of those love story videos they show at weddings (does anyone still make those?). “I’m broken, for you,” sings Júníus, though years of therapy have taught how wrong this is. IZ

LadieLex – Never Wanted
Released May 5
Following the release of her single “Ocean of Emotion” last March, pop-rocker LadieLex brings us the second single off her upcoming EP (title TBA.) While the first one was a bombastic midtempo banger, “Never Wanted” is an angsty bop that laments the pros and cons of the digital age. Ironically, the artwork for the single was produced using the infamous Dall-E AI image creation software. Does she really wish she never crossed the path of technology? She’s definitely expressing something most of us are conflicted about. Either way, it’s got a good beat and a catchy chorus. Listen on your favourite device and let it influence your algorithm. RX

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