From Iceland — Grapevine New Music Picks: Sigur Rós, Silva & Steini, Dauðyflin & More

Grapevine New Music Picks: Sigur Rós, Silva & Steini, Dauðyflin & More

Published June 16, 2023

Grapevine New Music Picks: Sigur Rós, Silva & Steini, Dauðyflin & More
Photo by
Tim Dunk

Another Friday, another batch of new tunes! It’s not just another Friday for us over here at Grapevine HQ because not only is it print week, it’s our 20th anniversary edition print week! If you want to put faces to the initials of us silly folks who bring you these new tracks each week – and the magazine for the past twenty damn years — make sure to hit the streets and grab a copy if you can. Tomorrow is also Iceland’s National Holiday so there’s plenty of celebration time going on! The new releases this week give all kinds of vibes from party to heartbreak, but it’s all great stuff. Turn on our playlist and have a great weekend!

Pink X-Ray — Plastic Surgeon
Released June 9

Members of PC Music newcomers Pink X-Ray just like to dance. They don’t like when a prospective hookup, who happens to be a cosmetic surgeon, ghosts them. Pink X-Ray caught the attention of Grapevine HQ with their irreverent social media content. A shopping trip to Smáralind raised enough consideration to tune our ears to this new artist. Pink X-Ray debuted their single last Friday, and are set to release a new single every week for two months. You can learn more about the artist by listening to our newest episode of 66 Degrees of Sound, where members Iðunn and Mandí joined me for a chat. JB

Dauðyflin — Þorparaljóð
Released June 9

If you’re looking for a new soundtrack for smashing the system to, look no further! Reykjavík’s most rage-filled queercore punks Dauðyflin have dropped a brand new EP as scorching as a Molotov cocktail. Roughly translating to “scoundrel poems”, the album title truly captures the essence of it, with five fast and in-your-face tracks of ripping hardcore riffs topped with clever anti-capitalist screaming. Clocking in at just under 7 minutes total, it’s exactly enough time to commit an act of civil disobedience. Keep the engine running while you blast this. RX

Silva & Steini — If It Was
Released June 14

If you’ve ever been completely engulfed in a moment of the purest happiness and the truest love, you are likely to encounter that feeling again when you listen to this track.
Technically a re-release — Silva & Steini released this track on their album More than You Know last year — an accompanying music video came out earlier this week. Shot in black and white, its videography works in tandem with the beauty of the music, giving the song its visual texture. The release is due in part to Silva & Steini’s recent signing to the American label FOUND, established by Scott Blum, whom the Grapevine spoke with earlier in June. JB

Róshildur — Fólk í blokk (v2,3)
Released June 16

Taking the lyrics of beloved children’s author Ólafur Haukur Símonarson — a household name in the early 00s — Róshildur shares her rendition of the song “Fólkið í blokkinni”. The single is off an upcoming release, due in July. The cover went through a number of different versions, referenced in the title, as Róshildur started working on the single in 2020. In her version, the otherwise joyful and innocent original is washed away with Róshildur’s melancholic and slow movements. JB

Elínborg — Í verju tíni
Released June 16

As people living in Iceland, I believe we should support our brethren in the North Atlantic more than we actually do. After all, we have much more in common with the people in Greenland and the Faroese Islands than our former colonial overlords in Denmark. Elínborg is a Faroese artist, releasing a single and a music video for her newest song, “Í Verju Tíni” (Under your protection). The synthpop mixed in with the quintessential darkness of the Nordics makes for a highly unique track that not only bops but slaps. JB

Sigur Rós — Átta
Released June 16

I have no shame at all in saying that my Icelandophilia started as a die-hard Sigur Rós fan. I also have no shame bragging that when they invited my old band to open for them in London over a decade later, it was beyond my wildest dreams come true. My whole being was shaken to the core. Much like the gorgeously intense experience of listening to this album, which I am immediately hooked on. Their first album of original songs in a decade — since 2013’s Kveikur — it’s their eighth studio record (as the title means in Icelandic), the first record since Kjartan’s return to the fold, and their first release since their tax ordeal with the Icelandic state. That final one really devastated the bandmembers on a deep level and this record is completely devastating itself. The grand, orchestral, core-shattering tracks are perfect for tear-jerking and transporting the listener, bringing many of their early signature elements (melancholia! Hopelandic!) but elevated to the stature of their well-earned legacy. It is, to employ some truly millennial parlance, epic. EPIC. I cannot gush about this enough, but I will stop now. RX

Langi Seli og Skuggarnir — Hviss Bamm Búmm
Released June 9

If you need a big pick-me-up after getting tear-jerked by Sigur Rós, get yourself out of the funk with this toe-tapping good time of a tune! The Eurovision-hopeful rockabilly dads Langi Seli “and the Shadows” are bringing the June 17th energy we need, and what you’re bound to hear out in the Reykjavík streets tomorrow. Grab a candy floss and get swingin’, okay! RX

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