From Iceland — Grapevine New Music Picks: Eldmóðir, Eydís Evensen, FLOTT & More

Grapevine New Music Picks: Eldmóðir, Eydís Evensen, FLOTT & More

Published May 26, 2023

Grapevine New Music Picks: Eldmóðir, Eydís Evensen, FLOTT & More
Photo by
Cat Gundry-Beck

After a quiet start to the week, we’re wrapping it up with releases by some huge names in Icelandic music. Much like the yellow level storm warning that swept the nation, we’ve got a storm of pop celebrities and prestigious neo-classical composers bringing new offerings, plus some underground indie hip hop for your discovery. We’d say it’s officially not worth holding your breath for anything resembling summer anymore, so stay inside out of the rain and listen to these new additions to our playlist.

Jóhanna Guðrún & Margrét Lilja – Best í Heimi

Released May 25

Well, if it isn’t the most Icelandic thing we’ve ever seen! The new single from Jóhanna Guðrún — Iceland’s Eurovision legend who came in 2nd in 2009, she knows what Käärijä is going through — is a super sweet duet with her 8-year old daughter designed to tug your heartstrings. The video directed by fast-rising star Vikram Pradhan is like a tourism campaign, complete with a sheep farm, sweeping views of mountains and fields, and Farmer’s Market lopapeysas. Even the title, meaning “best in the world”, is an expression used by every local ad agency for anything Iceland-made. It’s easy to be cynical, but the song is very cute. Go hug your kids. RX

Eldmóðir – Bálsýnir

Released May 25

This new EP by rap duo Eldmóðir features five tracks of bass heavy, experimental, dark-tinged hip hop. The band is a collaboration of artists Holy Hrafn and Thrilla GTHO and they draw inspiration from bands like Run The Jewels in their delivery style, handing off and picking up lines from each other throughout the flow. They run their project with a DIY mindset, with Holy Hrafn in the composer and recording chair and Thrilla GTHO leading up design, making it the definition of indie rap. RX

Eydís Evensen – The Light

Released May 26

After much anticipation, the second album from neo-classical pianist and composer Eydís Evensen is finally out in the light of day. Eydís quickly shot into classical music stardom following the release of her debut Bylur in 2021, and her second album only makes her star shine brighter. The album inspired by her reflections on the ruggedness and resilience of Icelandic nature and life, with the title The Light being a reference to the wild changes in light and darkness that we face. The songs truly capture that essence and are beautifully contemplative. Mood lighting recommended for listening. RX

Anna Þorvaldsdóttir – ARCHORA / AIŌN

Out May 26

The experience of listening to Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s ARCHORA / AIŌN is as discomfiting as it is jaw-dropping. In the truest sense of the word, it is awesome. In case you not familiar with her, Anna is the Iceland Symphony Orchestra’s composer-in-residence and has internationally celebrated and sought-out for well over a decade. Her latest release with Sono Luminus is a portrait album of her orchestral works ARCHORA (2022) and AIŌN (2018) performed by the ISO and led by Chief Conductor Eva Ollikainen. They are overwhelmingly intense and fascinating pieces of music that one can get completely lost in, and perfectly portray just how unique her work is. RX

FLOTT – L’Amour

Out May 26

It’s a tale as old as time: a law intern and an MBA student walk into a bar, and yada yada yada, now they have a kid and will get engaged in another ten years. That’s the way Icelandic love goes, and pop-sensation FLOTT have finally written the most succinct boppy disco anthem about local dating rituals. Or rather, mating. We don’t date here. One day you’re making out on the Kaffibarinn dancefloor while shaking it to a song as catchy as this one, next thing you know you’ve deleted Tinder and you’re moving house. This is the feel-hot-hit-of-the-summer that we needed! RX


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