From Iceland — Grapevine New Music Picks: Biggi Maus, Brenndu Bananarnir, Úlfur Eldjárn & More

Grapevine New Music Picks: Biggi Maus, Brenndu Bananarnir, Úlfur Eldjárn & More

Published May 19, 2023

Grapevine New Music Picks: Biggi Maus, Brenndu Bananarnir, Úlfur Eldjárn & More
Photo by
Art Bicnick

Wow, it seems like this Council of Europe thing took forever, but the schedule was only for Tuesday and Wednesday. I, for one, welcome our new European overlords. And what about those guns on the street? To be honest, the whole assault rifle thing and the “increased security” in downtown Reykjavík is not a good look for the Icelandic police. Instead of worrying about being hit by a car, we now had to submit to thugs masquerading as bodyguards and police officers in a dick competition. Reykjavík, I love you but you’re bringing me down.

Brenndu Bananarnir – Ég nenni ekki að labba upp gilið
Released May 3

A band hailing from Akureyri in North Iceland, Brenndu Bananarnir have been active since at least 2021. The song’s title can be translated as “I can’t be bothered to walk up the hill,” and I can get behind that message. Consisting of three musicians in their teens, the band evokes vague feelings of ‘80s twee pop mixed with 00’s indie – like something that belongs on the Juno OST. The accompanying music video really ties their whole aesthetic together. Bedroom pop at its finest, I can’t wait for Brenndu Bananarnir to play a show in Reykjavík, or me to catch them in Akureyri, whatever comes first. JB

Úlfur Eldjárn – Continuum
Released May 12

Everything in the universe exists on a continuum. It may not be linear, but everything just keeps going and going, connected to everything that preceded. This somehow encapsulates the feeling and the process of creation for Úlfur Eldjárn’s new single ‘Continuum’. Starting with a lovely, melancholic piano melody that leads into a gentle blooming of textures and then an explosion of energy, he aimed to make the entire song using only his piano, a continuous instrument in and of itself. You can hear Úlfur himself talk about it on our new episode of 66 Degrees of Sound. RX

Biggi Maus – Ekki vera að eyða mínum tíma
Released May 16

If you’ve been around for a while, you probably know Biggi from his hugely successful and popular rock band Maus from the ‘90s. Now in a solo outfit aptly names Biggi Maus – you know, because of his band – the artist brings us a new single this week. The track, translated as “Don’t be wasting my time”, is written as a sort of an anthem in support of victims of emotional abuse. We can expect more music from Biggi Maus later this year, as he prepares for a live show production some time this year. JB

Myrkvi – Miserable People
Released May 19

We all know by now that the way people portray themselves on social media can be pretty disconnected from reality. Especially the ones who flaunt wealth and seemingly unbridled joy. Myrkvi is beyond cynical about these folks, and his new single is an incredulous ridicule of people who portray a “perfect image” at ever chance. This indie rock jam chases different moods within the track, but leaves you will a feeling that it’s okay to be just okay, and if everyone could maybe calm the fuck down a little, that would be nice. RX

Sævar Jóhannsson – Einfari
Released May 19

Sævar Jóhannsson, composer and member of Korda Samfónía’s leadership team, just released the third single off his forthcoming album, Where the light enters. The album is comprised of solo piano performances written by Sævar and is out in August. For those who have been following our Friday lists and our new radio/podcast show, you should know that Sævar is a recurring guest. Never predictable, Sævar’s piano work takes you on a journey. Who knows where you’ll end up? JB

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