From Iceland — Grapevine New Music Picks: Ásgeir, Bílskur, Stjórnin & More

Grapevine New Music Picks: Ásgeir, Bílskur, Stjórnin & More

Published June 30, 2023

Grapevine New Music Picks: Ásgeir, Bílskur, Stjórnin & More
Photo by
Svavar Pétur Eysteinsson

As June comes to an end and folks begin to mosey out of the office and into the countryside, the musical release calendar is slowing down as well. We’re heading into what’s known as Cucumber Season in the news media and Iceland’s musicians have already gone full in. While we still have found some cool new music this week, most of the bands seem to be slowing down, not releasing and getting ready to play summer festivals like HÁTÍÐNI, LungA, and Norðanpaunk. We’re definitely excited for all of those, but damnit, send us more music! Here’s a few good ones anyway. Happy mid-year, everybody!

Ásgeir – Golden Hour (Lo-Fi Version)

Released June 22

We’re starting the Friday with lo-fi ballad from not just anyone, but Ásgeir. “Golden Hour” was released last year’s album Time On My Hands. Ásgeir’s hautingly beautiful vocals as if invite us to go on a road trip looking for that special golden hour. The new lo-fi version is contemplative and quiet, albeit with a richness and depth that is comforting and moving. The emotive and melancholic lyrics are full of longing, making a perfect ballad for falling in, or out, of summer love. Ásgeir, you’ve done it again, you magnificent bastard. IZ/RX

Bílskur – Information stop 1 & 2

Released June 22 & 24

It’s always nice to recover lost treasure. Back in 2007, musician Hrafn Hrólfsson holed up in a garage on Kópavogsbraut and layed down a couple dozen of his original compositions, self-recording all the instruments and doing it all himself. After that, for mysterious reasons, the songs became lost and never saw light of day. Now Hrafn has released a two-part album of his diverse rockin’ recordings that give huge late 60s jam-band vibes with a modern update, like an instrumental Brian Jonestown Massacre kinda thing. They’re really cool and trippy. Dive into these treasure chests. RX

deep.serene – darkasitgets

Released June 25 

It’s been a productive year so far for deep.serene, aka Halldóra Aguirre — the artist has just released a third single in the past 6 months. deep.serene’s music, as stupid as it sounds, is, in fact, deep and serene. It’s a blend of dark electropop and emotional depth paired with lyrics that will either take you to a dance floor or give you an existential crisis. This is exactly what you need today as you crawl into your blanket after turning the heating in downtown Reykjavík in fucking July. Weather rant over, keep it up deep.serene! IZ

Stjórnin – Stjórnlaus

Released June 28 

They’re back with a bang! Icelandic duo Stjórnin composed of Grétar Örvarsson and Sigríður Beinteinsdóttir created another certified bop with “Stjórnlaus.” Their smooth beats and lyrical majesty are guaranteed to transport some listeners back to the sweet glory of their Eurovision success in 1990 held in Zagreb with their entry “Eitt lag enn.” Be prepared to pull out those dance moves your loved ones told you never to do in public upon listening. SE

píla – Nobody

Released June 29

In our roundup last week we mentioned a recently-formed and rather questionable supergroup. That was rather questionable. This week we have another newly formed supergroup, and this time there are no doubts. The banding together of musicians RAKEL, CeaseTone and Halldór Eldjárn as píla are a power-team that bring a triple-whammy of stellar composition, impeccable production, and emotive performance. Their first single “Nobody” came out by total surprise and it’s full of twists and turns that hook you in right away. We suspect they have big plans in store. RX

Hipsumhaps – Góðir hlutir gerast hææægt

Out June 30

Back with their first single in two years, pop-rockers Hipsumhaps are reminding us that good things take time. Much like the anticipation they’re building for their upcoming album! This lush summery bop is an ode to frontman Fannar Ingi Friðþjófsson’s parents’ old car, a green Opel Corsa that he learned to drive on. When you’re young and you just wanna take off and go fast, you gotta learn to accelerate gradually and that it’s about the journey, not the destination, and that’s the uplifting spirit of this tune. It’s also a great driving song. Put this on your road trip playlist and enjoy the ride. RX

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